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It Is Interesting To Know

Write a letter to your friend in which tells him/ her what interesting things you’ve learnt from this text (see Appendix on p. )

1. Since the beginning of farming, for which we have evidence dating back 12,000 years, we have been dogged by unwanted plants. We need look no further than the vegetable plot to understand the pain, both physical and mental, caused by an infestation of weeds. Through history, as fields have increased in size, so too has the difficulty of dealing with such problem species.

One such flower is the restharrow- and what a wonderfully descriptive name that is. The relationship between this plant and the harrow or plough dates back at least to mediaeval times when it was known as “ox stop”. This reputation wasn’t restricted to us Brits.In France the restharrow was known as “arrete-baut”. The cause of the farmers’ problem with the restharrow was underground, the roots of this plant are long and strong causing ploughs to grind to a halt.

The name of the commonest arable weed, the poppy, was probably derived from the plant’s Latin name “papaver” but its close association with humans has led to the formation of many local names such as “Thunderflower”, “Blind Eyes” and “Wart Flower” because it was said that those picking its flowers were likely to be struck by lightning, become blind or grow warts. It is thought that such names developed to discourage children from picking them and thus damaging the crops in which they grew

2.* William also established the Forest Laws. People living within the forest were forbidden to cut peat and sometimes even to gather firewood or acorns.

They could have an eye put out if they disturbed the deer. If they owned a mastiff for use as a guard dog it had to be “lawed” by having the three claws on its forepaws cut off

Anyone passing through a forest carrying a bow and arrows was required to carry them bound to their limbs by the bowstring. Any hunting dogs were to be tired together in twos.

A forester was a title used widely during Medieval times. The forester usually held a position equal to a sheriff or local law enforcer. He was responsible for patrolling the woodlands on a lord or noble's property. His duties included negotiating deals for the sale of lumber and timber and stopping poachers from illegally hunting. Many times wanted criminals would hide in a forest. When this occurred it was the duty of the Forester to organize armed gangs to capture the criminal. Often foresters held titles of prominence in their local communities, and acted as barristers and arbitrators. Their pay was usually above average and they could make a decent living.

Many people confuse the role of the forester with that of the logger, but most foresters are concerned not only with the harvest of timber, but also with the sustainable management of forests to (in the words of Gifford Pinchot) "provide the greatest good for the greatest number in the long term". Another notable forester, Jack Westoby, remarked that "forestry is concerned not with trees, but with how trees can serve people".

3.* The Forestry Commission was set up on 1 September 1919 with responsibility for woods in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, divided between eight Forestry Commissioners who were given the task of promoting forestry, developing new forests, producing timber and making grants to private landowners.

In 1930 there were more than 152 managed forests covered a total area of 600,000 acres.

The demand for the timber dramatically increased during the Second World WAR WHEN, BETWEEN 1940 AND 1946 acres of Commission forest clearfelled with 53,000 acres heavily thinned.

After the war the priority for land use was for the production of home grown food and so any new planting tended to be on land which was unsuitable for other crops. The 50s, 60s and 70s saw Forestry Commission land increase to 1.6 million hectares as mechanization increased and investment in forestry soared.

From the 1970s the focus changed as conservation and access came to the fore. Woods became aesthetically pleasing with more broadleaf trees and open access. Forests also began to be identified as important wildlife reserves as well as places for recreation including sites for holiday accommodation.

In the 1980s the Government sold off ten per cent of the Forestry Commission woods with no duty placed on the new owners to provide access. Thankfully plans to privatize the Forestry Commission were abandoned in 1994. Today the Forestry Commission describes itself as the largest land manager in Britain and the bigger provider of outdoor recreation.

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