The Brecks is a special place of changing landscapes and unique character. The variety of habitats provides a home to so many species, some of which occur in The Brecks and no-where else! Our projects will be working to improve areas for the benefit of wildlife so our special species can continue to thrive
Click on the project titles below to find out more.
The Brecks is an area of unique climate and soils. A history of grazing and cultivation created an open landscape attracting rare flora and fauna. There has, however, been a decline in the creation of this broken/bare ground, which has led to a decrease in the wildlife that depends upon it. Read more »
This project brought together Norfolk and Suffolk Wildlife Trusts who both work in the Brecks and the BNG project area. The aim of the project was to ensure the conservation of the County Wildlife Sites (CWS) in the BNG project area. Starting in 2014, 45 CWS sites were surveyed for condition assessment, 15 more than was originally intended due to good planning and opportunistic assessment of neighbouring sites. Volunteers helped with these surveys, specifically monitoring invertebrate biodiversity. Six surveys were undertaken on potential new CWS which led to four new sites receiving CWS designation – Thetford Castle Mounds, Cloverfields and Abbey Meadows in Norfolk and RAF Barnham, Gorse Industrial Estate in Suffolk. Two further sites will be designated CWS on Thetford Town Council land in 2017 as a direct result of the work carried out to date by Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Read more »
Thompson Common in Norfolk was the last refuge of the Pool Frog, one of the two native frog species to the UK, which went extinct in this country in the 1990s. Following the Norfolk Pingo Mapping Project in 2008 and an initial release of Pool Frogs, this project created more suitable habitat and released huge numbers of young frogs with the aim of re-creating a self sustaining population. Read more »
Wildlife in the Brecks can be well hidden and often secretive. This project is unlocking the door to the secret lives of some star species; stone-curlew, hobby, woodlark, goshawk and nightjar. Read more »
The pine lines are the most familiar and iconic feature of the Brecks landscape. Comprising of long straight lines of contorted Scots and Corsican pines, they march across the landscape, silhouetted against the sky. Research by Prof Tom Williamson of UEA during the course of the project discovered that they were originally planted as hedges. The young, clipped pines provided a good windbreak for the crops in adjacent fields and survived well in the poor Brecks soils. Most of the lines were established between 1815 and 1825 and became difficult to manage. They subsequently grew into twisted mature trees which had been manipulated at a young age, giving this unique Brecks feature. Read more »
The overall aim of this project, delivered by Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service, was to increase the number of trained volunteers participating in wildlife recording in the Brecks. The project exceeded all of it’s original targets by an astounding amount, in no small part due to the 785 people who gave up their time. It was originally hoped that the project would engage around 60 volunteers but a total of 785 people gave 7,210 hours of their time to learn about, improve identification skills, and record biodiversity in the Brecks. Read more »