Traditional coppicing is Britain’s most sustainable form of woodland management. Coppicing is the craft of carefully cutting trees to ground level and managing the new shoots to a usable size before cutting again. Coppiced wood is grown to produce long straight stems with few or no side branches.
Most deciduous British native trees and shrubs can be coppiced. The time between cutting varies depending on the tree species and the intended use of the wood. As a general guide willow is usually cut every 1-3 years, hazel 6-8 years, chestnut and oak 20- 40 years.
Coppiced woodland is harvested in rotation, ensuring a continual supply of wood and creating a habitat patchwork that is crucially important for many species including woodland fritillary butterflies, nightingales, willow warblers, the endangered common dormouse, bluebells and primroses.
“Traditional coppicing is a method of traditional management which greatly improves a wood’s ability to support a wide range of species” - Rob Atkinson, Northern Reserves Officer, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.