9 Nov 2018

HISTORIC DOCUMENTS - No. 1

We have started wading through boxes of documents dating back to 1970 as part of our archaeological study of Darch's Wood. Each week over the next few weeks we shall post one of the more interesting documents that we come across.
As a starter, the following is the text in a handwritten note that Mrs Darch sent to the Amenities Society Chairman in 1979,
The object of Darch’s Wood is to preserve 43 acres of natural English woodland for the study and enjoyment of the people in the district. Therefore no trees must be cut down. Plenty will fall down if and when they must. The exception being the acres of chestnut which should be cropped every 15 years or so, and sold for money for upkeep. The wood looks beautiful now (1979) – just as it did in 1935 when we bought it, and no trees were ever chopped down. If any spot becomes unpleasantly bare, a new tree can be discretely planted (and looked after) but this should not be necessary as undergrowth may produce new trees.
The committee (and others) should never walk in the woods without tools of the trade, in hand or belted on. The most important are a hoe to do gutters and clear streams and a hand clipper. After that a saw, slasher etc, to take care of things fallen across paths.
The bridges should be watched at all times to see that the water flows through correctly. Bricks should be replaced at once if vandals have prised any out.
As for money for brick work etc, you should perhaps get some donations in addition to rent from the Church House, and if this is not enough, I would consider a charge of £4 or £5 a year from people who use the wood. That is done by another woodland trust not far away.
The ex-pond should be cleared on the east side of the stream ready to go ahead when and if the time comes for re-instatement.

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