This area was once the site of a large lake, left by the retreating glaciers of the last Ice Age 10 -12,000 years ago.
For the neolithic hunters, 10,000 years ago, to the people of the medieval Manor of Hockham, the lake would have been a vital source of fish and fowl. There are records of a ‘fish house’ here in 1380.
In Tudor times there was still a large lake, of around 280 acres, called Hockham Mere, but it gradually silted up and by 1737 it was simply a swamp.
Cranberry Rough provides a wide range of wetland habitats, including swamp woodland, tall reed fen, a network of dykes and pools and areas of damp grassland and fen. These in turn support an exceptionally rich diversity of wetland plants, insects and birds. Over 60 species of spiders have been found here.
This wetland site was formerly a lake known as Hockham Mere. It is now a 'Site of Special Scientific Interest'.
This site is special because of the pollen and plant remains preserved in the peat below. These tell us about past climate and the changing vegetation of the Breckland area.