The Breckland Society

A classic Brecks pine row, near Ickburgh ©J ParryThe Breckland Society was set up in 2003 to encourage interest and research into the natural, built and social heritage of the East Anglian Brecks. We are a membership organisation working to help protect the area and offering a range of activities to those who wish to see its special qualities preserved and enhanced.

The Brecks cover over 370 square miles of inland Norfolk and Suffolk. Click here to see a map of the area.

This is a unique part of Britain, traditionally characterised by huge tracts of open heathland. The word ‘breck’ was used to describe temporary fields, which were ‘broken’ from the heath and allowed to revert once the soil was exhausted. Historically this was an open, steppe-like landscape populated by sheep and rabbits, but in more recent times large scale forestry and intensive agriculture have changed the face of Breckland.

Many of the traditional human occupations, such as flint-knapping and warrening, have all but disappeared and the area’s very particular atmosphere risks being changed forever in the face of increasing developmental pressures.

Other than National lottery funding for a number of specific projects over the years, our activities are funded solely from members’ annual subscriptions.

In normal (non-Covid!) times we organise activities throughout the year, concentrating on walks and visits during the spring and summer months, and talks during the autumn and winter, in locations around the Brecks and (more recently) online via Zoom.

The Society initiated, fund-raises for and manages the periodic publication of The Journal of Breckland Studies, which publishes scholarly papers on research that directly relates to Breckland. We also make one-off grants from time to time to support external initiatives and activities, such as (Breckland Artists) and the publication of field guides to the birds and flowers of Breckland.