WELCOME TO THE GORSE INDUSTRIAL ESTATE WEBSITE
Scheduled Monument No 30608
Situated on the edge of Thetford Heath, this Scheduled Monument to the Cold War is adjacent to a nature reserve which is a breeding ground for the Stone Curlew, Gorse Industrial Estate specializes in providing units & open storage for small businesses and with no requirement for long leases it is ideal for anyone wishing to start a new enterprise.
The total area of the estate is 23 acres and is in itself a nature reserve. The British Trust for Ornithology is situated in Thetford and carries out an annual ringing programme. There are currently 60 nesting boxes on the site and some 150 birds are ringed each year.
Some 30 years ago we were given a grant of £450 to plant a mixed hedge around the perimeter. This measured about one Kilometre in length and consisted of Hawthorn, Spindle, Guelder Rose, Field Maple and Bird Cherry.
Recently as the result of a Conservation Report carried out on behalf of English Heritage it was decided that the hedge had reached a point where some form of management was required. Coppicing would have removed the habitat and security benefits of the hedge for a while and hedge laying offered the best option in terms of improving the wildlife value of the hedge and improving the boundary security of the Estate.
To this end Will Foss; E-Mail :- WFoss@UAP-Europe.com was employed to carry out this work between September 2007 and April 2009. He used two methods depending on the size of the hedge and adjacent habitat. The majority has been laid in the South of England style which creates a wider hedge with brush on both sides (and therefore symmetrical in cross section) creating maximum habitat for nesting birds. Where the hedge is adjacent to an area of Scots pine plantation more light and better access along the hedge was required. This section of the hedge and another shorter length next to an area required for vehicular access was laid in the Midland style, which retains brush only on one side leaving the exposed side of the hedge as bare stems. Both styles are completed by staking at regular intervals with ash, hazel or elm and then the tops of the stakes are bound together with interwoven hazel or willow rods to form a strong barrier.
In early 2013 David Davison of Pakenham was given the contract to remove some 95% of the trees that had grown over the Estate during the last 46 years. this contract was possible because of a grant from English Heritage for this purpose. Co-incidentally the site was visited by Kev Gregory who took many photographs and has kindly given permission for the link to be added to this website. The link is http://kevgregorysphotos.weebly.com/raf-barnham---former-nuclear-weapons-storage-site.html and gives an excellent photographic record of the site in March 2013
One of my photos of South East Quadrant taken in April 2013 after tree clearance was completed.