Keepers work for the Forestry Commission. Their role is to manage the wildlife, and to make sure the bye-laws aren’t broken. In the past keepers would kill crows, magpies, rooks and other animals that were considered to be vermin.  Every keeper would have their own area to patrol, known as their beat, and would strictly enforce the rules.

One of the jobs of the keepers is to cull deer to stop their numbers getting too high. Nowadays the deer carcass can be picked-up on a quad bike or a 4-by-4 truck, but not so long ago they had to be carried out from the Forest slung on poles.

Another job of the keepers is to stop poaching and vandalism, both of which are still problems in the Forest today.

In trouble with the keeper

Bert Stride

Commoner Bert Stride remembers that the keepers in his day were very strict. He got into trouble for putting a saw bench on the Forest by his house.