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Thread: Coppicing.

  1. #1

    Coppicing.

    Lat year I talked our neighbouring farmers into getting some coppice grants for their woods. We run the shoot there, and I stalk there so there would be benefits to us admittedly, and benefits to them in that not only were the woods managed but they would keep the grant money. The arrangement was that we would do the work with work parties e.t.c. and keep the timber, and everyone was happy.

    Now they have 'complained' or concerned more that the trees are gone and there is no canopy. I discussed with them before hand what was involved, and I thought living in the countryside for the years they had that they would understand such practices.

    Any advice on how to proceed with this? I myself have done a lot of the work up there. I think they've got the better deal taking the grant money for not having to lift a finger. On the other hand I don't want to jeopardise my stalking situation, which is very good.

  2. #2
    [/Quote]

    Any advice on how to proceed with this?[/QUOTE]

    Not sure what to suggest, it's not possible to put the trees back, lol.
    Maybe a chat expressing regret if they didn't understand the implications of the coppicing?

  3. #3
    when you say theres no canopy has gone have you cut every thing down? including the older bigger trees such as the oaks, beech or what ever the main species of trees there are or have you done just sections/coupes of each wood with a view to return each year coppicing another section/coupe

  4. #4
    Boarboy,
    If they are getting grant, they had to apply for it. The grant offer document would have set out exactly what they had to do to recieve the grant. Providing the coppice stool is protected from deer browsing, they will regrow as multi stemmed trees which is what coppicing is all about. It is a sustainable way of managing some types of broadleaved woodland. If they stop you there is a real chance that they will have to pay the grant back. As a land manager of 30 years, I can only suggest that you remind them of this and unlike farming, woodland management is a long term activity. Hope this helps and good luck!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by DamDama View Post
    Boarboy,
    If they are getting grant, they had to apply for it. The grant offer document would have set out exactly what they had to do to recieve the grant. Providing the coppice stool is protected from deer browsing, they will regrow as multi stemmed trees which is what coppicing is all about. It is a sustainable way of managing some types of broadleaved woodland. If they stop you there is a real chance that they will have to pay the grant back. As a land manager of 30 years, I can only suggest that you remind them of this and unlike farming, woodland management is a long term activity. Hope this helps and good luck!
    Thankyou and Yes, the whole project was discussed with the forestry commission officer and set out from the start. I acted as the agent. The grant involved coppicing in 3 main blocks and thinning out the canopy of some of the lower grade oaks in one particular section as it was overcrowded and nit ketting in sufficient light. So no, not all the big trees have been removed, hardly any, all marked by the tree officer anyhow. What we are doing is a total woodland improvement plan, but it seems they are now concerned about things. I have pointed out that the trees will regrow, albeit in time! And I do no know what I'm doing as I work for a tree surgeon on a regular basis. I think I might go back to them with some photos and coppicing leaflets e.t.c.

  6. #6
    Going back with more info and explanation is a good move. If you can get some pictures of woodland that has been coppiced and it's stages of regrowth it may help. I have been verbally abused, accused of environmental vandalism and threatened with legal and even physical action before now, all while hedgelaying ! The quickest to jump on have always seemed to be 'semi country' types and ramblers.
    Being able to explain and trying to get them to see the longer term habitat benifits is tricky but worth the effort. Good luck setting them at ease.

  7. #7
    The last piece of coppice I seen in Sussex grew over 6ft in the first season. So if you can hold out to September you'll have some stems with leaves on looking a bit like a tree, For now convince them the spring flowers will look great.

  8. #8
    Pictures of the stages of re growth will help. It's also worth showing them the >6' of re growth you can get on a good alder or chestnut stool in 12 months. If you have a wood nearby that's being cut in rotation a quick trip out and wander thru from "devastation" to the wall of pole stage trees after a decade of growth will soon cure any belief that you're killing their woods. If you've a local small woods group or coppice organisation they'll be able to point you at some local help/examples.

  9. #9
    There are so many benefits to this method of woodland management it should be quite easy to allay their fears. If the natural 'seed bank' is good they will have a riot of new species they will not have seen which should create quite a beautiful sight, the actual coppice regrowth if protected well will be very vigorous. I have seen first hand how this benefits a tired and poorly managed woodland.

    If the stools have been left for years and the area was quite dense then I expect they are shocked at the change, a little information and photo's of woodland that has undergone this management & the new species they will expect to see will appease the situation.

    What did you do with the wood that was cut? there may be some way it could be used by the owner in other areas or products made from it if seasoned correctly that he could also benefit from.

  10. #10
    I've taken some photos of the coppice as it is, dark shaded leaf covered floor, and some of the stuff we've cut with dead hedge showing deer protection. I just need to get some shots of some good regrowth. Deer are actually one of our major problems with browsing damage.

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