K – A-Z of Commoning and the New Forest
Keepers work for the Forestry Commission. They have lots of different jobs to do in looking after the Forest. They have to make sure that the numbers of deer and other other wild animals don’t get out of control. They will keep an eye on the state of fences, gates, drains, and ditches that need to be maintained. And they have to deal with poaching and vandalism, both of which are still serious problems in the Forest today.
The job of the keeper was often handed down from father to son, which was a good way to make sure that knowledge about the Forest was passed from one generation of keepers to the next. Each keeper had his own beat, and got to know the commoners in his area.