Project Profile

Location: Thetford, Suffolk

Frame: Queen post truss

Timber: Oak

High Lodge Visitor Centre

With its cycleways, paths and forest activities High Lodge Forest Centre attracts thousands of visitors every year and housing all the necessary amenities in a building that fits into its surrounding was key.

Project profile

The High Lodge oak framed visitor centre in Thetford Forrest is part of the Forestry Commission in Suffolk. The oak framed visitor centre accommodates a gift shop, cafe, cycle hire and toilets for visitors of the forest walks, bike trails and Go Ape.

About the frame

The vision for High Lodge was to create a barn like structure that fits in seamlessly with the surrounding forest, so what better material to use than green oak to create that natural ambiance. Internally the queen post truss frame has a high collar, exposed oak rafters and a steep pitch. One of the benefits of this construction is that the space is very open and flexible so it can be adapted to the needs of the centre. The oak framed visitors centre is heavily glazed allowing natural light and so the visitors can really get the outside-inside feel but in the warmth of a roaring open fire in the cafe! Externally High Lodge is clad and painted black, this helps to protect and preserve the soft wood cladding. Both internally and externally this oak framed visitor centre is the perfect place to relax after seeing the delights that Thetford has to offer.

We have built a number of frames for visitor centres around the UK; some of these include Rossyln Chapel in Scotland and Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire.