Illegal ravers strike in forest again

By Lisa CleverdonPARTYGOERS who attend illegal all-night raves in a forest have been warned they risk causing serious destruction to the woodland and animal habitats.

By Lisa Cleverdon

PARTYGOERS who attend illegal all-night raves in a forest have been warned they risk causing serious destruction to the woodland and animal habitats.

More than 1,000 people attended a rave in Thetford Forest on Saturday night - the latest in a series of outdoor parties to take place across the region in recent weeks.

Norfolk police received several complaints about noise from the party, which was held in the Warren Wood area of the forest between Thetford and Brandon.

But ravers who attended the event, which carried on well into Sunday, said there had been no problems and everyone had had a good time.

One partygoer, who asked not to be named, said: "It was a really good atmosphere and everyone was just there to enjoy themselves.

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"A lot more people turned up to this event than they did to the last one that was held in Thetford and there were also more rigs than expected.

"It was really well organised and everyone was very friendly and there was no trouble whatsoever."

But Mike Taylor, operations manager for the Forestry Commission in East Anglia, said the raves were quickly becoming a major problem in rural areas.

"Ground nesting birds can be disturbed by these activities and people can often trash a site and probably do not perceive that they are doing any damage," he added.

Although the rave was attended by police officers, its size and the fact no criminal activity was taking place meant it was allowed to continue.

A police spokesman said: "The number of events such as this seems to rise at this time of year because of the nice weather and more and more people are choosing to hold the events outdoors rather than in buildings.

"When we attend these events, we always monitor the site carefully to make sure no public disorders are taking place.

"Even if no criminal activity is taking place, civil offences are probably being carried out because these people will be trespassing on someone's land and will not have got an entertainment licence to hold the event."

A spokesman for Norfolk Fire Service warned there were a number of potential fire-related hazards at illegal outdoor raves.

"Although we would never condone such behaviour, if people are going to hold a rave, they need to be fully aware of the dangers and need to take great care and have regard for their surroundings," he said.

lisa.cleverdon@eadt.co.uk

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