10/01/19: Work to get underway to regenerate Butten Island

10 January 2019

Improvement works will shortly get underway to tidy and improve Thetford's Butten Island and adjacent riverside areas.

Breckland Council is working to make the area more accessible and useable by the local community and visitors. This will be achieved by clearing a number of trees and opening the area to more natural light, river views and other points of interest along the riverside and within the island.

The council is to spend around £14k from its Market Towns Initiative on the project, which will get underway this month and eventually see around 20 unsafe, decaying and dead trees removed from the island and riverbank from Butten Island as well as the removal of hedge areas. The work has been agreed after consultation with the town council, British Trust For Ornithology, the Wildlife Trust, and Anglian Water.

The move aims to make the area more attractive for the community to use, while providing safer areas for everyone to enjoy and improve local and visitor perceptions of minor localised antisocial behaviour.

Cllr Paul Claussen, Breckland's Executive Member for Place, said: "Currently, parts of the island are so dense that it is quite dark and unappealing and you can't even see the beautiful river running alongside. By removing some of the vegetation on the island it will make the area much brighter and cleaner for people to use and will play to the area's natural strengths ahead of the spring and summer."

Work to tidy the area will get underway imminently, with parts of the hedging removed. Unsafe trees which are currently growing at an acute angle over the river are due to be removed before early February.

Further trees will be removed or crowned in the first half of February, before the project is finished in March. The work is being carried out in stages to minimise disruption to the area, though at times parts of the island may be restricted to the public to enable to safe removal of trees and branches.

Last updated: 19/03/2019 14:52:30