Monday, 17 March 2014

First coppice coupe nearly finished

After two years of attending to the paths and brambles, we have actually started managing the woodland.  This small coppice coupe is near the pylon, as you can see in the photo below.

We have coppiced the hazel and felled a few trees to give the remaining ones a better chance.  Too many trees too close together do not thrive and if no light gets to the woodland floor we get little in the way of ground flora.  We want a rich woodland environment with plants, insects birds and mammals.

We have produced a lot of poles, some of which we hope to sell for beansticks and plant stakes in a month or so's time.  In the tool store we have several bundles of ten x 8' beansticks and a few bundles of five x 5' hedging stakes.
There is also some bigger wood which we may use to make a bench or two.

Not all the cut wood is useable.  There is a lot of twigyy stuff and some curly and knobbly sticks.  These have been made into a 'dead hedge' around the perimeter of the area we have coppiced, known as a 'coppice coupe'.  This will soon rot down but meanwhile the floor of the coupe is easier to move around and the hedge will show us next winter where we cut this year.  If we continue to get such good support from our volunteers, we hope to cut a coupe each year.  By the time we have done most of the woodland, this first coupe will be ready for cutting again.

The dead hedge

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