Thetford Warnings and Dangers

Most Recent Warnings and Dangers in Thetford

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    Adders, Gnatbites, & Lyme's disease...

    by arturowan Updated Nov 7, 2013

    Adders are encouraged to live in Thetford Forest, & according to a notice published by the local authority, several people & dogs are bitten each year...
    So be on the watch, but to date, I cannot report anything negative in any encounter with these reptiles, but to the contrary, they always seem to be the victims, squashed flat on roads & tracks, when they've been runover in a dosy state, while basking in the sun...
    There's not much debate in my mind as to what public enemy #1 is, in Thetford - mosquitoes...
    I've had many a trip spoilt by these assassins of Mother Nature - I just thank goodness that in UK they don't carry malaria...
    The mosquitoes & gnats in Thetford Forest are insatiable for flesh, though some areas fare worse than others, such as near the rivers, as becomes apparent if you're camping, because in the worst spots, their incessant buzzing noise & bites, causes it to be impossible to sleep...
    But, even in the least affected parts of the forest, during the warmer months, it's impossible to stay for more than a night, without being bitten, with feet & ankles seemingly their favourite target, & socks aren't thick enough to offer protection...
    It might be possible to live with a few bites, but I've suffered dozens at once, & my feet were left red & sore, as if covered in chilblains, & it's been enough to discourage my visits at sunny/humid, times of year...
    (However, though writing this during a miserably wintry March, just 1 sunny humid day this month, & already the mosquitoes have emerged & are out to do their worst...)
    The other health worry in Thetford Forest, is Lyme's Disease, carried by ticks which parasite the deer population...
    Ticks have been found to prefer the following microclimate conditions:
    1 - sandy soils
    2 - woodland
    3 - rivers
    4 - deer
    All together then, this means that the Thetford Forest area provides ticks with an ideal breeding ground...
    When these ticks have engorged on animal blood, they drop off to the ground, where they remain until another mammal comes into contact with them...
    So, keeping clothed should be enough to avoid contact, & until 2013, I only suffered 1 attachment, but it would seem that the tick population has exploded since then...
    During summer 2013, tickbites became more of a nuisance than the gnats, & also became a deterrent to return to the forest...
    If you find the tick the next day & are able to remove it before it has started feeding - the danger of contracting Lyme's Disease is supposed to be unlikely, because it is not until 24 hours after an attachment, when the tick has engorged on fresh blood, that the old infected blood inside it, is transfused into the new host...
    Lyme's Disease is a debilitating illness with multiple symptoms, so do your best to avoid contracting it...

    Related to:
    • Camping
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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    Maverick moto-X

    by arturowan Updated May 1, 2013

    There are a few designated foot & bridle paths within the vast area of Thetford Forest, but the majority of the tracks between the trees have no actual right to permit the public - They're 'permissive paths', open because the area is in management of the Forestry Commission & not a private land owner (& long may it remain so...)
    The Forestry Commission has the right to close off any of these unauthorised tracks, & frequently does to allow for tree-felling & other woodland management operations to take place using heavy machinery...
    Because of the size of the vehicles involved, all these tracks are as wide as roads, but closed off to motorists by gates, however, the gaps aside these controls remain wide enough to allow access by motorcycles...
    All unauthorised motorised vehicles are prohibited within Thetford Forest, so the only wheeled transport you should encounter are mountain bikes, but this does not stop some off-road bikers from using the trails for a spot of moto-X
    The advice of the council is that if you witness this unofficial use of the forest trails, to report it to the police, but in my view, it's not really necessary, because the tracks are wide & the bikes noisy, so you can here them coming, take avoiding action, & when they're past in a cloud of sandy dust, that will probably be the last you see of them...
    However, where the situation is a danger, is alongside the rivers 0use & Little Thet, where narrow footpaths allow walkers only, to access the forest by walking right at the waters edge...
    I've encountered youths riding 3or4 to 1 bike along this tenuous section, as well as quad-bike riders, & that ain't a joke - & neither is it when these off-roaders take to the local path that is a designated section of the Peddars Way...
    These narrow paths are only suitable for walking & cycling - motorbikes & QUADS are a serious danger here, & could cause a fatality...

    Related to:
    • Horse Riding
    • Cycling
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Litter, broken glass, & fire starting...

    by arturowan Written Apr 26, 2013

    Thetford Council has a policy of non-collection of litter from the forest area, due to the huge expanse of the place causing costs of such services to be immense...
    The unfortunate consequence of this, is that the roadside area of woodland receives an ever accumulating mess of snack litter & fly-tipped waste...
    In my opinion, the council shares overwhelming responsibility for this eyesore, by having incorporated so many laybays along the forest roads, so only serving to encourage casual passer bys to park & picnic...
    I don't understand why the Council provides these picnic spots for passing motorists, especially as though the forest is dense, it only extends about 2 miles from the centres of Thetford, Brandon, Mundford, etc...
    So why do these littering visitors have to be catered to in the forest, when they are so close to such facilities as McDonalds, who do provide litter collection?
    More adventurous picnickers traverse deeper into the trees, but their attitude towards the place, astounds me even more!
    Not only do they litter their barbecue site, but if drinking alcohol from glass bottles, they feel the need to break the glass, before leaving, & now there are hideously huge shards of glass throughout Thetford Forest...
    0f course, barbecues & campfires are ILLEGAL, anywhere in the Brecks area - the place is an all year fire hazard, with resin laden pine needles creating a carpet of inflammable tinder, that in a strong wind, could ignite the entire map of reserves...
    The penalty for starting a fire is £1000, or 3 months imprisonment, & that's just for striking a match to a pile of kindling, never mind if it all goes out of control - that's arson, & even unintentional arson is a serious criminal offence...
    If you think these penalties are draconian, consider this - writing this in the third week of April, when snow was still on the ground only a fortnight ago, already I have witnessed 2 burnt out areas in the forest, caused by uncontrolled campfires, or arson...
    0n my last visit, I woke up to smell burning & saw smoke coming through the trees, & discovered somebody else's abandoned campfire had erupted overnight, at least 2 days after having been quenched...
    With dry tree roots & fungi colonies underground, such fires can smoulder & spread for miles, before erupting again, elsewhere in the forest, so fire is no game here - DO NOT LIGHT 1
    Peoples lives are at danger, not to mention those of all the critters living in Thetford Forest...

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Camping

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