Thrift is an old English word for woodland and Salem refers to the owner of the woodland. In 1360 the wood was known as Sarle Fryth. Over time this became Salem Thrift. This suggests the woodland has been here for over 700 years, which is a good length of time, and when you walk these paths you are walking in the footsteps of generations of people who lived in this area.
In 1896 the wood, farmland and a house were purchased by W H Allen. Lots of trees were planted on the estate and many of these are still to be seen around the surrounding area. The wood is now managed by Bedford Borough for the benefit of the local community.
Today I found myself walking the paths of Salem Thrift, enjoying the greenery and thinking of others who, over the centuries, walked this woodland.
You cannot help but think we have a responsibility to continue to preserve such places for generations who follow.
If our ancient woodlands disappear then we have failed our children and their children.