The Brecks is a unique and interesting landscape. Made up of rare grass heathland, the largest lowland forest in the UK, wildlife-rich farmland and unusual wetlands, it spans almost 1,000 square kilometers across the heart of East Anglia.
You know you’re in the Brecks when you see the funny shaped, gnarled pine trees in rows – the pine lines.
Sandy, flinty soil, hot days and cool nights, combined with the fact it’s the driest part of the UK, create unique populations of wildlife and a distinctive terrain. People have influenced the Brecks too through farming, flint mining, rabbit warrening, military usage and forest planting.
Nearly 13,000 species have been recorded in The Brecks, with 28 per cent of the UK’s rarest species found here.
The Brecks is internationally important for its rare wildlife and heritage, but this is under threat. We’re working with communities, farmers, businesses and many organisations to help save it.
Reserves and other protected areas are a key part of Futurescapes. They provide core areas for nature to thrive and eventually repopulate the surrounding landscapes. The key RSPB reserves within this Futurescape are:
At Lakenheath Fen, the RSPB has converted arable farmland into a large wetland. There is a new visitor centre where you can find out more about the reserve, its wildlife and history. An events programme is run throughout the year and family explorer backpacks and trail guides are also available.
We're working to safeguard and improve special places for nature. Each Futurescape contains a range of initiatives in addition to our reserves. The combination of these creates better conditions for wildlife across the countryside.
The recovery of the enigmatic stone-curlew in the UK has been heavily reliant on help from RSPB staff. They have closely monitored the population and rescued nests and chicks from agricultural operations. The recent EU LIFE+ project has increased the amount of safe nesting habitat in order to reduce the need for intensive protection work, with the aim making the UK population more sustainable.
Futurescapes is all about collaboration. There are many organisations and people involved in managing land in The Brecks. Our challenge is working together to find ways of making more space for nature. To achieve this we’re working with:
- Breaking new ground
- Brecks Partnership
- British Trust for Ornithology
- Butterfly Conservation
- English Heritage
- The Environment Agency
- Forestry Commission
- Natural England
- National Trust
- Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service
- Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership
- Norfolk Wildlife Trust
- Suffolk Biodiversity Partnership
- Suffolk County Council
- Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Saving special places
Challenges in communicating science - a case study at sea.
In science communications, as papers are published and projects reach their conclusion, we finally have the chance to shout about what we have done and why the world is different today. But, we also realise that sometimes good science is only of inte...Posted 20/04/2018 by Andre Farrar
The Great Wash has been designated for its importance for wildlife - good news? Yes, but there's a twist.
It’s almost invariably good news when a special site for wildlife gets legal recognition and is designated. But the Greater Wash Special Protection Area (SPA) – which was classified as an SPA by DEFRA ministers on 28 March begs some questions...(read...Posted 19/04/2018 by Andre Farrar
Want to know about peat bogs? Here's a primer
Wherever peat soils form - there is a conservation story - often of loss and damage, occasionally of restoration and hope. They form a fragile home for distinctive and often threatened wildlife and the properties of the peat provide life-giving benef...Posted 19/04/2018 by Andre Farrar
Cutting of Primeval Forest Judged Illegal by European Court
Dan Pullan, our International Casework Manager reacts to today's great news from the European Court of Justice Some good news today – the European Court of Justice, which is the final arbiter of EU law, has judged that Poland is breaking...(read more...Posted 17/04/2018 by Andre Farrar