Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Coppicing with help from our volunteer groups

The woodland at Wenlock Edge has been managed for centuries by coppicing. Coppicing is the ancient craft of cutting trees to ground level and leaving a stump behind which develops multiple stems; at Wenlock Edge we predominantly have hazel coppice.
Coppicing has important environmental benefits by extending the life of the tree and allowing light to reach the woodland floor. This encourages a rich diversity of flora and fauna, and at Wenlock Edge this is particularly important in creating a beneficial environment and food source for its dormouse population - as it leads to the growth of more hazel nuts.

The strong re-growth from the coppice stools provides a renewable source of timber with many uses, including providing stakes and binders for hedge-laying.
(We also use some of the stakes for our shelter building dens (just to the right as you turn into Presthope car park), where we have some spectacular dens that just keep getting bigger and better!)
The Shropshire Council
Coppicing usually takes place late winter to early spring. We regularly take out volunteer groups to help with this process which has the added benefit of engaging people by involving them in our woodland conservation.
Recently we have had the Wednesday Action Group (WAGs) and the Tuesday Task Force (TTF) volunteers from Carding Mill Valley, as well as South Shropshire National Trust Volunteers (SSNTV) and the Shropshire Council come to help us out. Next week we have Shropshire Youth Forum playing their part.

With all these groups taking part, coppicing at Wenlock Edge becomes a much easier task and we would like to thank you all!

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