Coppicing at Blackmoor Copse – 2009

I have been working at Blackmoor Copse (mainly during the autumn and winter months) since 1990.  There is a programme of coppicing using various cycles – five year, seven year etc. – to encourage the ground flora, which in turn maintains a diverse fauna.  The reserve is also managed to provide favourable conditions for the resident dormice.

Coppicing entails cutting the hazel to ground level to allow the plants to send up fresh new growth (which actually also prolongs the life of the plants).  Unwanted small trees such as ash and birch are removed at the same time.  In some cases the mature trees, usually oak, are reduced in number.  In past times the coppiced material would have been used as posts, stakes and in hedge laying, hurdle making etc..

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