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
The societies next long term
goal is to own a wild flower meadow. *
P.S. This was finally achieved
in December 2013