Reserve History

WARCS purchased Pethicks Plantation from the trustees of the Brantingham eststate.  Enventure Northern, the environmental body, who provided £11,000 for the purchase plus support  from the parish council.  Many problems were overcome over a 3 year period in order to take ownership of this 3 acre woodland.  The purchase was completed in January 2002. 

The membership of the society was asked to suggest names for the wood, and out of a comprehensive choice, WARCS Nature Reserve topped the poll.

The Reserve was originally part of the Brantingham Thorpe Park Estate belonging to the Maxstead Family.  It is shown on the OS Map of 1888 as being adjacent to the Lodge, which was probably the estate gamekeeper’s residence.  It is thought that the gamekeeper a Mr Pethick used the wood and others in the vicinity to raise game birds and indeed some of the plants found in the wood seem to verify this presumption. It was perhaps forty years ago that the son of the gamekeeper was allowed by the estate to grow Christmas trees on part of it.  One of the earliest maps of the area, circa 1840, does not show the wood. There are two mature beeches in the wood and a similarly aged oak, which are probably aged around 250 years which takes them back to the late eighteenth century.

A wood working party, drawn from membership volunteers, meets on a number of pre-planned occasions throughout the year to carry out care and maintenance tasks in the wood.  Twenty-eight members attended the working party in February 2004 planting 200 new hedging plants which included hawthorne, blackthorne, gelder rose, buckthorne and spindle.  Additional tasks included taking down a broken tree, transplanting ash saplings and laying two flagstones next to the notice board.

The societies next long term goal is to own a wild flower meadow. * 


P.S.  This was finally achieved in December 2013