Breckland Local Group

Three people walk through a field filled with trees and wildflowers. One wears a Norfolk Wildlife Trust fleece, while another wears a pink shirt and the third wears a blue and white shirt. All three have short, grey hair.

Breckland local group members (credit: Glyn Evans)

Breckland Local Group

About the group

The Breckland Local Group was reformed in 2016. We're very well supported, for which we are very grateful, but we'd be delighted to welcome new members!

Our enthusiastic committee actively promotes the wildlife of the region. We offer regular activities, such as guided walks and talks by knowledgeable experts on a variety of wildlife topics.

We welcome everyone to participate, and encourage you to get in touch if you're interested in joining or taking an active role on the committee.

A group of people on a walk through a field on a cloudy day. The people are pictured from behind and are wearing coats.

Breckland local group on a walk (credit: Glyn Evans)

Our local area

Breckland is the rural area of south-west Norfolk which covers the countryside around the market towns of Attleborough, Dereham, Swaffham, Thetford and Watton. It has been known for centuries as 'heath and rye' country – a traditional form of land where the heathlands or 'brecks' were used for arable cultivation in times of prosperity, and then allowed to revert to heath when the nutrients of the sandy soil were exhausted. This shifting cultivation eventually gave its name to the region known today as Breckland.

The area has a rich heritage dating back to the Stone Age, with flint working through to the Middle Ages, until sheep farming brought prosperity. The main trading routes are the Peddars Way and Icknield Way – both long distance footpaths. The distinctive landscape was dramatically changed during the 1920s by the creation of Thetford Forest. The creation of conifer plantations eventually resulted in the largest lowland forest for commercial timber production in the UK.

NWT has woodland and heathland reserves at East Wretham Heath, Hockham Fen, Hoe Rough, Grimes Graves, New Buckenham Common, Thetford Heath, Scarning Fen, Wayland Wood, and Weeting Heath. This diverse range of habitats, together with the rivers Little Ouse, Thet, Wissey and Lark, is of particular interest to geologists, naturalists and archaeologists, as well as being a valuable recreation area for walking, cycling, and horse riding.

Whether you are a resident or visitor, you will soon come to appreciate this special area of the county.

Two brown rabbits grazing the grass, with one pictured side on and the other from behind

Rabbits grazing in Breckland (credit: Glyn Evans)

Contact us


Phone: Peter or Fiona on 01953 886756

Brown common lizard curled up on a rock

Common lizard in Brecklands (credit: Glyn Evans)

Breckland Local Group events

Explore nature reserves in the Breckland area