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Inside this issue:

THE BRECKLAND SOCIETY

Set up in April this year, the Breckland Society is an independent, membership-based organisation with the following objectives:

  • To promote interest and research into the natural, built and social heritage of the Norfolk and Suffolk Brecks
  • To encourage greater understanding of area's special qualities, both within the area and to a wider audience
  • To work with other partners to protect and enhance the special qualities of the Brecks
  • To help monitor and assess the impact of development and agricultural change on the local landscape and its towns
The term 'Breckland' was coined in the late 19th century by the great local historian and naturalist, W.G.Clarke. His book, In Breckland Wilds, published in the 1920s, remains one of the most lyrical and informative books about the area. It is made all

the more poignant by the fact that the landscape he described so evocatively was soon to be largely swept away by forestry and intensive agriculture.
The pressures on the Brecks and their surrounding area continue today, and include issues such as the increased suburbanisation of our area, fuelled by the expansion of the 'Cambridge Corridor' and ever higher local housing targets. The Society is working closely with the Campaign to Protect Rural England on these planning and development issues.
Without care and sensitivity, there is a very real risk that the qualities that make the Brecks special, such as their sense of space and remoteness, will be lost forever.
Part of the Society's mission is to raise awareness of these qualities and encourage local people to learn more about the Brecks, their highly individual history and special value to wildlife. We do this through a quarterly newsletter and an events programme that includes lectures, field trips and social events; this

summer we have been led on an architectural tour of Bury St Edmunds, enjoyed a private evening view at Thetford's Ancient House Museum, held a summer evening barbecue at Clermont, been delighted by the antics of displaying nightjars and seen bird-ringing at close hand on a private site near Thetford.
Forthcoming events include lectures on Breckland churches (at Watton church, Weds 15 October 7.30pm) and on farming in the Brecks (by Chris Knights, at Croxton Village Hall, Weds 12 November 7.30pm); on Saturday 29 November at the Houghton Centre in South Pickenham, actress Patience Tomlinson will give a performance based on the life of the once famous but now largely forgotten Breckland novelist, Mary Mann, the originator of the Lady Chatterley story later told by D.H.Lawrence. Non-members are very welcome to attend our events.
Further information about the Society and its activities is available from the Chairman, James Parry, on 01366 328676 or the Secretary, Sue Whittley on 01366 328190.

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