They were granted "estovers
" - dead wood - for fuel, to repair their homes, fix tools or make charcoal.
Even the taking of dead wood (the right of estovers
) is detrimental to the woodland environment as decaying timber has high biodiversity value and is part of the woodland cycle.
The right to collect fuel wood - known at the time of the Magna Carta as "estovers
" - was contained in the document sealed by King John in June 1215.
Later in life, in Boston when I crossed paths with Governor Michael Dukakis on his morning walk, he turned a neighbourly blind eye to my gathering windfalls--'estovers
' as Magna Carta calls them--for my fireplace.
(93) Specifically, Sprankling claims that the rejection of English common law's strict rules preventing the conversion of forest land to farm land and limiting a life tenant's timber cutting to personal consumption uses (estovers
), which in England served rational conservation purposes given its wood-dependent economy and wood scarcity, served the American instrumentalist goal of converting wilderness into agricultural land.