Some commoners worked in forestry. In the days before mechanisation there were lots of jobs to be done- clearing paths and ditches, felling trees, and cutting posts and poles from the timber with hand tools. Chainsaws didn’t become common in the Forest until the 1960s.
Working in forestry was a tough life. Just getting to work could be a long walk for miles through the woods. In those days a forester could leave all his equipment in the woods overnight, confident that it would still be there when he came back to work the next day. It’s hard to imagine that happening nowadays.
Charcoal is wood that is burned without letting air get to it. Charcoal was made all over the Forest at one time. It was a very dirty job- especially in the days before people had baths and showers to get clean! Hear how it used to be.