The Fakenham Area Conservation Team

The Melton Constable Trust own a section of the former Great Eastern Railway trackbed at Fakenham. Trains would travel from Wells-next-the-Sea through to the Fakenham East station and then onto Dereham and Wymondham which was the main line connection to Norwich and beyond.

The trackbed at Fakenham is now a Permissive path and we are continually grateful to the Fakenham Area Conservation Team that help maintain the vegetation and keep the path clear ensuring that members of the public can enjoy this heritage walk.

Members of the Fakenham area Conservation Team at Bridge 1715

Chris Yardley who manages the Fakenham Area Conservation Team, with the help of Tracey is always looking for new volunteers:

The Fakenham Area Conservation Team works in the Fakenham area to do practical conservation tasks with a team of volunteers. Our work mostly concentrates on managing different habitats for wildlife and public amenity, together with maintaining access along some of the many rural rights of way and permissive paths in and around the Town.

We always welcome people to the group and actively seek new members who want to come to join us. There is no joining fee or expectation to donate anything apart from your time to enjoy working with us. There are no commitments over coming to tasks and we are happy if people just drop in and out as the time they have allows. 

The Permissive Path at Fakenham between Bridge 1714 and the Three Brick Arches over the River Wensum Bridge 1714.

We have a full inclusiveness policy and will try to accommodate people from all backgrounds, ages (children need to be accompanied by an adult) and abilities, although the tasks tend to require some walking and some physical activity depending on what they are (we do things such as path cutting / levelling, tree planting, grassland and scrub cutting / management)

We have a Health and Safety policy, inclusiveness policy and child safety policy. We are fully insured for public liability through The Conservation Trust – which covers all volunteers for any conservation management task that they are doing whilst with us.

Clearing Rubbish from the area around Morrisons and Enterprise Way Fakenham – together with cutting brambles and habitat management March 2019

FACT was formed in 1989 by the then Wensum Valley Project (County Council sponsored) and has been going continuously since then. We work with a variety of partner organisations such as The Melton Constable Trust, Fakenham Town Council, Sculthorpe Church to provide management of their sites. The Melton Constable Trust and Town Council have been extremely supportive of FACT over the years and provided us with funding and equipment together with shared help on projects and publicity.

Helping Stibbard Primary School to restore its pond and wildlife area March 2018

If you would like to join us please contact Tracey Yardley or Chris Yardley on 07748 135422 / 07931 434162 –  or; we would love to hear from you.

The Melton Constable Trust has received £20,000 National Lottery support to help address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on heritage.

The Melton Constable Trust that manages the Norfolk Orbital Railway project, has received £20, 000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to maintain and promote their heritage railway land at Fakenham and Holt.  This is intended to be used in due course  for the re-building of the railway.  In the meantime, the sites and their history are already benefiting the public.  The permissive footpath at Fakenham along the railway trackbed is a popular walk and this funding will enable the Melton Constable Trust to maintain this along with managing security and safety so that members of the public can continue to enjoy this area for the benefit of their health and well being.  At Holt the Melton Constable Trust have plans to develop and expand their site for the benefit of visitors and the local community.  Social media will be used to promote the Melton Constable Trusts activities and events whilst at the same time volunteer staff will be trained in how to use this platform to share information and interact with other organisations.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown began the Melton Constable Trust has been limited in its activities due to travel restrictions however as lockdown eased and shielding was paused volunteers have been able to meet and carry out works at both sites.

Paul Young the Project officer for the Norfolk Orbital Railway project at the Melton Constable Trust said: “Thanks to the National Lottery and its players we can now move forward and make terrific progress in building on what we have worked so hard for and to safeguard the heritage aspect of the railway for future generations whilst at the same time providing activities for people to enjoy. We’re so grateful that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting us at this crucial time – it’s a lifeline to us and others who are passionate about sustaining heritage for the benefit of all.”

To enable The Melton Constable Trust to manage the Norfolk Orbital Railway project, the money received from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, will help develop a comprehensive fundraising management plan and launch a volunteer recruitment programme aimed at driving the project forward and future proofing the Melton Constable Trust.

The funding, made possible by National Lottery players, was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund. £50million was made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector.

The UK-wide fund aimed to address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis. 

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as the Melton Constable Trust during this uncertain time.”

Like the Melton Constable Trust, other charities and organisations across the UK that have been affected by the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak are being given access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed money from The National Lottery. This money is supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and span the arts, community, charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors.

Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, including heritage of local and national importance. By playing The National Lottery, people up and down the country are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combatting the impact of COVID-19 on local communities across the UK.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund is now closed for applications. To find out more about how The National Heritage Emergency Fund is supporting the sector at this time please visit: 

To find out more about the National Lottery Good Causes , visit: 

For further information about the Norfolk Orbital Railway project, please contact:

David Bill –

Paul Young –