Boys collecting bracken on the Breckland

Boys collecting bracken on the Breckland

The Breckland, a stretch of heath and forest on the border between Suffolk and Norfolk, is one of the wildest and least settled parts of East Anglia. For centuries, the sparse local population used the bracken ferns that gave the area its name for fuel, animal feed and roof thatch. Although the practice largely died out in the twentieth century, Mona Moore here depicts local boys gathering bracken, in what today seems like a nostalgic glimpse into the past. The Breckland, however, looks much the same today; it has largely been preserved from development.