At the end of last week Sam and I were going through the old archives searching for some specific information. It’s the first time I’ve been able to have a look through the archives and I came across some interesting stuff.
We’re lucky that here at Petts Wood we have all the records of the Management Committee dating back to 1927 when the wood’s association with the National Trust was proposed. The immaculate handwriting certainly puts my own scrawl on post-it notes to shame! It’s also been very interesting to read about the type of work the keepers/wardens/rangers have carried out over the years.
I can think of few other industries where work carried out has stayed so constant over time. In the 20’s and 30’s fences were erected to protect patches of bluebells, rides were cleared and trees removed for safety reasons; all jobs we’ve completed here in the New Year. In fact the main winter activities that have been carried out this year, sycamore removal, oak thinning, coppicing, selling logs, dealing with malicious fires and even buying a new tractor were exactly the same as reported by the keeper in 1977.
There are, of course, some things which we no longer do. An experiment to plant the woods with larch was a failure, there is no longer a shop, and we are not supplied with shotguns with which to ‘destroy vermin’. You may also notice some changes when comparing volunteers from the 40’s to the present day: