Carrying out survey work and looking at historical records can be useful and worthwhile in piecing together the story of an industrial treescape. But the real value comes when the information is collated, assessed and turned into a report which can be used and shared with others.
Key stages in putting a report together are:
- looking at your findings in a critical way to assess their reliability in answering your questions. Actual measurements (if accurate) have a high level of reliability. Documentary sources and interpretations may need to be treat more cautiously. They were created for a particular purpose and with a meaning and significance which may not now be apparent.
- collating the data from each set of findings to see what the level of agreement is between them and where there are new connections which were not previously apparent.
- writing a short report of the findings. As a minimum this needs to include: where the surveys took place; how the research was carried out, who by and when; a description of what was found with illustrations, maps and planned drawings; and some conclusions with ideas for future work or areas of concern.
Sharing the Information
The findings whether as a report or in note form should be shared with:
- the landowner so that they are aware of what has been found and can take this into account when planning any management;
- the local authority record centres (Historical Environment Record and Biological Records) so that it is available to be consulted in any planning issues and in any future enquiries about the area.
and if allowed (by the landowner) may be shared with:
- the local library and Local Studies section
- the wider local community which may be through guided walks or talks by group members.
Putting together the findings and then sharing the information may give you a whole new set of questions to answer with a new round of surveys and historical research!