Coppicing Shadow Woods
The weekend 11/12th December saw a group of volunteers from the Sussex & Surrey Coppicing Group (SSCG) started the Coppicing of Shadow Woods. A 10 year management plan had been created, and agreed with landowners and forestry commission to ensure compliance to good forestry management practice. A section of the woods had been marked out for this season’s work, the 10 year plan will ensure a sustainable outcome as we move through the woods. The section tackled was largely hornbeam, a very hard wood and it seems unlikely that the area had been coppiced since the war.
Three teams were formed, lead by experienced and licenced chain saw users. The area had been marked back to a line marked across the woods, representing about 10% of the total area. One team with Graham and Roger worked back from the field side, Clive, Bob and Barry worked up from the low point and Chris and Alan worked on the central area, leaving Richard to try and collect and stack the smaller logs, whilst the iron horse awed the experienced workers with it’s ability to perform multiple tasks, moving the larger logs for later cutting and splitting.
Light has now started to filter through, and the area opened up to allow the tree stumps to be shaped to allow a strong coppiced growth. It will be fascinating to see how the wild life, plants and fungi respond to the changed environment