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Thetford Forest

Due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic, Forestry England closed all its main car parks and recreation sites, including High Lodge in Thetford Forest. The High Lodge car park re-opened with limited capacity on Saturday 23rd May. Other forestry car parks in the area remain open, and the wider forest can still be enjoyed following government guidelines. Forestry England sites will remain open during the second lockdown.

Thetford Forest is largest lowland pine forest in Britain, covering around 19,000 hectares of land near Thetford. The woodland is managed by the Forestry Commission for timber production, recreation, and wildlife conservation. Most of the land is owned directly by the Forestry Commission.

Much of the land owned by the Forestry Commission is designated as Access Land, giving the public a general right to roam on foot. The forestry permission also grants permissive access for cyclists and horse-riders on its land. Access to the leased land varies. There are a large number of way-marked trails that the public can enjoy.

Toilets, catering facilities, adventure playgrounds, and other activities are available at High lodge. There is a cafe at Brandon Country Park. There are also a number of other car parks around the forest, and toilets at the Santon Downham Offices, and St Helen's Picnic Site.

The main sites and atrractions within the forest are:

Purchase of Croxton Estate Land

Since the creation of Thetford Forest, the parts of the Public Forest Estate within the current parishes of Thetford and Croxton (formerly part of the Croxton Estate) were only leased to the Forestry Commission. That changed in 2020, when Forestry England purchased the freehold of the land from the Crown Estate. The funding for the purchase came from mitigation funds provided to Forestry England as a result of the dualling of the A11.

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