Laughton Woods: tales with Tony Warburton

As a volunteer heritage researcher working on the ancient woodland restoration project, I wanted to hear some of Tony Warburton's memories of the ancient woodland at Laughton. I expected it to be interesting and found it fascinating! I was left wanting to know much, much more.

This podcast is a condensed version of a two hour conversation I had with 86 year old Tony earlier this year. As you will hear, his memories span the time period from 1938, when work in the woods was still done manually, through World War II and the introduction of plantations, to fully mechanised sawmills in the 1960s. He managed the local sawmill that used to be in Park Lane until 2000.

Listen to the podcast

Tony has fascinating memories of ancient woodland during wartime (Photo: WTML)
Tony has fascinating memories of ancient woodland during wartime (Photo: WTML)

Change is a constant, but it’s also important to remember how things used to be done. Tony tells us about the rail track that they laid down to help extract cut timber out of the woods. This is a problem for woodland owners today as they need to extract timber from ancient woodland while causing as little damage as possible to ground flora and historic features. Laying a track down could be an answer, and that idea is a direct result of talking to Tony! Memories are not only fascinating and entertaining, but inspiring and can give us solutions to problems we have today.

I have returned several times to talk to Tony, and have many more fascinating stories to share. He tells a good story in his broad East Sussex accent. I hope you enjoy this podcast and it inspires you to get out and enjoy your local woodland, and tell other people about it. I also hope it encourages you to talk to older people about their memories - you never know what you could find out, or how relevant it might be to you.

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