The Domesday Book of 1086 records woodland in Marston, and The Thrift was larger then than it is now. Over many years there was continuous clearance and fragmentation of the woodland, and The Thrift of today gradually took shape.
Management of this woodland involved coppicing the trees and shrubs, cutting them off at, or near, ground level and allowing them to grow to the size needed. That form of management died out in the last 50 years as advances in building techniques changed material requirments.
Nowadays The Thrift is managed in a sympathetic way as a Local Nature Reserve & SSSI. Work continues to put back hedgerows and links to other woodlands.
How to find The Thrift: follow the signposts for Wood End from the A421, and continue to the end of the road to the car park. Public access is from either the car park at Wood End, or along the Thrift Way from Cranfield.
Below are some websites with more information on Marston Thrift