Lynford area changes

What are the plans for Lynford Zone?

Updated 14th May 2024

Over the coming months there will be a number of changes happening within the Lynford Zone. Please view the information below to help answer some of the questions you may have.

Lynford Arboretum changes

Dog agility trail 

Forestry England will be removing the dog activity course at Lynford Arboretum. This course has been loved by visitors to the Arboretum. Like many manmade features in our woodlands this has come to the end of its natural working life. 

This will be removed from site in May 2024 and initially will not be replaced. 

Civil engineering dam maintenance

There has been continued work over the last year with our civil engineering team regarding the dam's management and maintenance at Lynford Arboretum. The earth dams and masonry spillways are showing signs of fatigue and leakage. As custodian of the historic assets, Forestry England is required to manage and maintain them. To carry this out we will be temporarily lowering the water level so that the risk of a failure is minimized for the duration of the works. There will likely be trees that have to be removed from around the edge of the main water bodies and directly adjacent to the upper dam which is expected to be carried out later in 2024 or early in 2025.

Tree management at the Arboretum

There will be harvesting work within the Lynford Arboretum extension area where Forestry England will have to close Lynford Arboretum and Lynford Water car park to undertake the necessary works. A compartment will be thinned by 20% of the ‘nursery trees’. These trees were planted around 50 years ago, as part of the standard forestry crop rotation. As the Arboretum developed, these trees protected the new collection from certain weather conditions. To continue to allow for the expansion of the Arboretum, we now need to do a 20% thin of these mature trees. Whilst these works are being carried out, we will also be removing all the ash trees that have been affected by ash die-back. The timber will be stacked within Lynford Water car park. The dates will be 1 July to 12 July for the initial Arboretum felling work and from 12 to 17 July for reinstatement of Lynford water car park.

The main collection of trees that make up the Arboretum will continue to be managed throughout 2024/2025. This will primarily be undertaken in the Arboretum where we are felling trees that have been marked up as dying or overpopulated within the collection. Any trees that will be felled will be replaced.

Lynford Stag changes   

New wellbeing walking trail

We have been working on a new wellbeing walk which will start at Lynford Stag, traveling along the old coach road, visiting the Arboretum on its way and circling round to end up back at Lynford Stag. This walk will be three miles in length with thoughtful and inspirational information boards along the way regarding wellbeing. This will be installed summer 2024.

Frequently asked questions

Can I still visit Lynford Arboretum, Water or Stag? 

While this work is going on you may not be able to visit Lynford Arboretum and Lynford water dependent on the tasks being carried out. 

You can still visit when we are removing the dog activity course, but please note that there will be staff and contractors on site to remove the structures of the course. There will be a potential closure of the extension off the Arboretum while they deconstruct the activity course - please follow all diversions and safety signage.

The dams will continue to be monitored and maintained by our civil engineering department throughout 2024. There will also be work within the next year to manage these structures. 

When the main harvesting work is happening at Lynford Arboretum no public will be allowed to access both Lynford Arboretum and Lynford Water for two weeks. The estimated date for this is June or July 2024. 

The management of the collection at the Arboretum will be an ongoing project. During the management and maintenance members of the public are still allowed to access the Arboretum, however there might be diversions and closures in place.

During the installation of the Wellbeing walk that will link up Lynford stag and Lynford Arboretum, most visitors won't be affected. There is the potential that you might see members of staff and contractors installing equipment on the trail. 

Please follow all site safety signage when visiting the sites that are located within the Lynford Zone in 2024 and 2025. 

Is there an alternative site we can park at whilst operations are taking place? 

Thetford Forest has 15 free to access sites all with differing attractions and offerings with further information for these available on our website. You will not be able to park at Lynford Arboretum and Lynford Water when the 20% thin of the ‘nursery trees’ is going on 1 July to 12 July for the initial Arboretum felling work and from 12 to 17 July for reinstatement of Lynford water car park.

What is your policy on memorials on site? 

Forestry England receives many requests for memorials, spreading of ashes or commemorative plaques and benches throughout Thetford Forest. These are places that mean a great deal to many people, and it is very understandable to wish to commemorate loved ones and honour their memory in beautiful surroundings.

One of the main reasons that these places are treasured by so many is because they provide access to such wonderful green spaces. In keeping with the policy for the Nations Forests, Forestry England and Friends of Thetford Forest can no longer agree to the placement of memorials, commemorations, or the scattering of ashes in Thetford Forest.

If you would like to contribute in their memory to support Forestry England or the Friends of Thetford Forest work through enhancing the forest for wildlife, archaeology and heritage, please visit and Friends of Thetford Forest (FoTF)

Forestry England tree felling policy

We continually take care of the forests and landscapes that include the abundance of wildlife that can be found within them. We are in tune with the rhythms of the seasons and carefully balance the need for woodland management and sustainable timber with the year-round activities of wildlife. Forestry England's vision is to protect the most valuable places for wildlife in England can be found in the following link: Growing the future | For wildlife 

There is no risk-free time of year for harvesting timber, but we always strive to minimise damage to the environment. Working in the wetter months increases risks that cause long term damage to soils. Protecting soils is important for the whole forest ecosystem. This means some of our work occurs in drier conditions, which are more likely to fall within the bird nesting season. 

Forestry England manages the risk to minimise impacts by assessing the site and considering what needs to be in place to minimise disturbance to wildlife and the environment. 

We do what we reasonably can to avoid disturbing or damaging birds’ nests. We also take extra care to look for wildlife that has special protection, including badgers, bats and rare or threatened birds. We either suspend or alter work to make sure this special wildlife is protected. Felling and nesting birds | Forestry England