The Landscape Partnership worked within a team of Forest Heath District Council local authority officers to prepare a five-year conservation management plan in response to a proposal to build a visitor centre within this 20ha Local Nature Reserve.
Aspal Close is a mediaeval wood pasture of national importance, within the Breckland landscape, comprising Ancient oak pollards surrounded by grassland and scrub. The late Oliver Rackham described it as “an internationally important northern outlier of unspoilt savannah”, and “one of the best examples of fields with trees”. Visitor levels and adjacent residential areas cause great pressure on the site, with dog fouling, under-age drinking, fires and fly-tipping being common. The reserve also provides opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing for the local population.
The management plan demonstrates our capability to manage high levels of public pressure within a very sensitive ecosystem.