High Lodge, built in 1992, is the visitor hub for Thetford Forest, providing recreational facilities for over 480,000 people annually and there is open access across the Forest (except for leasehold land).
Thetford Forest, covering 24,000 hectares, is England's largest lowland pine forest. It is an entirely man-made landscape, owing its origins to the First World War when Britain had great difficulty in meeting the wartime demand for timber and half of all the productive trees were felled in just two years, from 1914-1916. To ensure that Britain would not find itself facing another timber shortage in times of war, on 1 September 1919 the Forestry Act came into being, setting up the Forestry Commission, now Forestry England, with responsibility to promote forestry, develop new forests and produce timber for woods in the United Kingdom.
Forestry England manages the forest by balancing the needs of timber production with those of wildlife, people and archaeology and it is this multi-purpose management which is characteristic of the forests that make up the Public Forest Estate