Blogger: Sammy Fraser RSPB Brecks Community Engagement Officer

A new exciting landscape partnership scheme is coming to the Brecks in the shape of the Breaking New Ground Project; this three year scheme was successfully awarded £1.5million by the Heritage Lottery Fund and will form the umbrella for 37 individual projects.

The aim of Breaking New Ground Project will be to deliver new landscape heritage and community projects in the Brecks area. The project will engage local communities and partners in telling the story of the Brecks and to develop a sense of pride and belonging to this fascinating landscape that will translate into a long lasting legacy of engagement. The scheme will work on a landscape scale by encompassing core areas of the Brecks and will involve a mix of partners including the Forestry Commission, Norfolk and Suffolk Wildlife Trusts, the RSPB and Suffolk County Council as well as a mix of local groups and partners.

As Springwatch fever hits the UK, Wings over the Brecks (which is one of the 37 projects) will be run by the Forestry Commission, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the RSPB, providing local residents with the opportunity to see the secret lives of unique Brecks wildlife unfold through live video footage at the Forestry Commission’s High Lodge, Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Weeting Heath and at roaming displays run by the RSPB in Thetford and Brandon.

Nest cameras put in place by specially trained volunteers will reveal the nests and behaviour of specialist species such as woodlark, goshawk and stone-curlew. These iconic birds of the Brecks are famous for their elusive behaviour and vulnerability to disturbance so are rarely seen. The Wings over the Brecks project footage will allow everyone a glimpse into their lives and watch their dramas unfurl.


Nightjar by Andy Hay (

For local residents keen to be involved their local community and the Breaking New Ground schemes projects, Wings over the Brecks will not only be showing fantastic footage but will also provide opportunities to get involved as a volunteer. The project is looking for local volunteers of all ages to help bring to life the nest camera footage to residents and tourists at the display at High Lodge and to assist with the running of the programme of exciting events that will take place to promote Wings over the Brecks and provide opportunities for local people to see some of the Brecks wildlife in their forest and Heathland habitats. There will also be events taking place at High Lodge over the three year period of the project.

Having run community engagement work in the Brecks for over a year now I am passionate about the wildlife and heritage of the Brecks and providing local residents with information and opportunities to access and enjoy it. The Breaking New Ground Project will encompass this and much more, I am really excited to see how the project progresses and to be part of a project that embodies what Futurescapes is all about. So watch this space!

If you’d like to find out more about Breaking New Ground and Wings over the Brecks or you are interested in volunteering as part of the project then get in touch on 01842 753732 or