Thursday, 18 December 2014
Coppicing season starts
We are making a start on coppicing at Filnore Woods. The objectives are twofold: one is for wildlife conservation reasons, and the other is to harvest some useful wood.
For centuries coppicing was a widely used woodland management technique. Taking advantage of the fact that most native trees will re-sprout if cut down to near ground level, our ancestors would harvest small wood and larger timber on a rotational basis, cutting a different part of the woodland each year.
This resulted in a varied mosaic of habitats varying from open ground through low shrubby growth and dense thicket to large trees again when the area would be re-coppiced. So there was always somewhere for the sun-loving flowers and insects, somewhere for the ground nesting birds and somewhere for shade-loving ferns and hole-nesting birds.
So harvesting wood incidently produced a varied wildlife habitat.
Nowadays it is the other way round. The emphasis is more on the benefit to wildlfe, with the wood obtained being a useful by-product.
The hazel that we coppiced last winter grew again but it has had a setback because deer have been browsing the shoots and the plants have had to try again.
Re-growth on last year's coppice stools
Shoots bitten off by deer
Beanstick sale will be on Saturday 11th April in the Leisure Centre car park.