My wife's grandmother Mille Robinson, who lived for a while at the New Inn Dalehead, sent and received a lot of post cards and those she received are all in a bundle now. Here's one (taken around 1920?) showing Whelpstone Crags before Stocks reservoir was built and before the Forestry Commission was invited by the Fylde Water Board to become the tenant and plant Gisburn Forest.
Looking at a modern map of Gisburn Forest you don't see that the land used to be dotted with farms and barns, you don't see the history, you just see the symbols of a plantation. There is no 'open access', there are a few footpaths (rights of way) and some forest roads (not designated as rights of way) and that's that! The reality is somewhat different, however, and the map is a lie! The place is not just a plantation, there are areas of beautiful deciduous trees, there are clearings and areas carpeted with orchids and other wild flowers designated Biological Heritage Sites. And far from being an area of limited access, the Forest easily absorbs hundreds of people every week who go there to walk on the many paths and cycle on tracks and mountain bike trails and ride horses on the many miles of tracks that the Forestry Commission have created and allow people to use. It is used by youth groups for map reading and navigation, it is used by volunteers on 'Conservation holidays' rebuilding dry stone walls and laying hedges - I could go on! It is easily big enough to get thoroughly lost in and interesting enough to find something new each time you visit - a great place!
I only mention this because the Forestry Commission and what it does is under review - no different to Natural England and us and lots of other organisations. Do the maps, stats and photos even tell the whole story? No! So if you get chance to contribute to the debate on changes in the countryside, tell it how it is or better still still how you would like it to be.