High Weald

coppicing_volunteerCoppicing is a traditional woodland management technique that creates a unique habitat that has vital biodiversity benefits. Many British flowering plants, mammals and insects thrive under this rotational system - many rarer species are only found in working coppice for example the Dormouse or 'dozing mouse' or 'sleep mouse' prefers to live in a shrub layer which has plenty of undergrowth such as working coppice.

Creating access paths or 'rides' and making glades also allow light into woodland to the benefit of butterflies and other insects.

Hedges and woodland strips, which act as essential corridors for wildlife also respond well to coppicing or in some cases can be cut and laid. In other areas, where hedges have been pulled up because of modern farming methods, or damaged by stock, they may need to be replanted.

You don't have to be a skilled woodsman to help with coppicing. Volunteers are often used for light coppicing of hazel and birch using bow saws a 'loppers' like long-handled secateurs. Groups will sometime be accompanied by skilled chainsaw operators - but there is always a volunteer leader on hand to demonstrate the art of coppicing.