On 2nd March on a crisp bright morning a team of 16 budding volunteers, with 5 members of staff, from Eastern and Otley College made their way to Elms Plantation in Thetford Forest.
This excursion was to carry out some work for the Breaking New Ground Project ‘Flint in the Brecks’ which is being delivered by the Breckland Society with full support from the Forestry Commission. Anne Mason, the project lead, explained that a number of gun flint mines had been discovered by a volunteer working on the project and the idea was to create a small footpath from the main woodland ride to take people up to a flint mine. These days the remains of the mines are large circular depressions in the ground which could be easily overlooked. Some interpretation will be put up on the main ride so people will be able to find out more about the fascinating history of the Brecks flint. A few keen eyes found some bits of flint as they were working which they eagerly showed to Anne.
After the morning work party it was back to Brandon Country Park (BCP) for a well-earned lunch break which was full of chatter about the mornings work. After lunch the senior ranger at BCP, Dan King, took the group for a guided walk around the Tree Trail. The group were given some interesting facts about some of the veteran trees in the park, and it was also a good opportunity to collect some pine cones to take back to college! Just as the group had finished looking around the walled garden the weather deteriorated so the weary team took a sharp exit back to the minibuses and home.
Breaking New Ground and the Breckland Society would like to thank the students whose hard work will enable walkers to gain access to this heritage feature in the forest. We hope to see the team again soon. Thanks also to Tom Hyde from the Forestry Commission for carrying out preparatory work on site and helping to organise the work party on the day.
Rebekah O'Driscoll, BNG Project Officer