Coppicing is a traditional method of woodland management which takes advantage of the fact that many trees make new growth from the stump or roots if cut down. In a coppiced wood, often called a copse, young tree stems are repeatedly cut down to near ground level. In subsequent growth years, many new shoots will emerge, and, after a number of years the coppiced tree, or stool, is ready to be harvested, and the cycle begins again.
Some tree species lend themselves to coppicing. Alder and hazel are two good examples of trees that have traditionally been coppiced. The Alder we have in the woodland adjoining the canal has clearly been managed in this way. However it has been neglected for the past thirty or forty years.
We also have examples of old coppiced hazel trees that have been allowed to grow out into unproductive multi-stemmed stools.
It is our intention to revive this method of woodland management to make the woodland productive and enhance the health of the trees and the under-storey.