Palmstead plant day by Bob Hewitt
The Palmstead plant day is an annual event organised by Palmstead nursery Ashford Kent,
now in its 11 year, attracting keynote speakers from the wider horticultural industry,
This year Keynote speakers were Tony Kirkham obe, Dr Debbie Bartlett (SSCG)
and John wire Forestry Commission, plus other respected Horticultural practitioners,
The event was held at the Ashford international Hotel and sold out to a target audience of
Landscape architects, specifies, designers, contractors, estate gardeners, industry and local
authority decision makers along with the industry trade press.
The theme of the conference was called planting outside the pot, choosing trees, plants, and
planting methods that have the maximum environmental benefits for the planet and the
Our display this year was sponsored by The National Coppice Federation and Sussex & Surrey coppice group,
Our aim of the day was to make contact with useful industry professionals who could help
spread the word of coppicing, network with the designers & architects encourage and advise
them to specify coppice products in their designs, where to access coppice workers in their
location of work, network with the trade press for future press releases like the wider benefits
of coppicing and national beanpole month on a local and national level and not to mention
attracting new members to the fold.
Our display table was decorated with various small table top coppice items, willow baskets,
spoons, ash pegs, ash rake, charcoal and oak shingles, with laminated information sheets, in
front of the table was a coppicing sign in a hazel hurdle frame with a chestnut mantel shelf,
along the back wall were the NcFed banners a willow screen with the SSCG sign decorated
with photos of dormice, butterflies and reptiles all the critters one would find in the managed
woodland as I provided the photos not Google.
Our display generated a lot of interest from the guests with constructive conversation from
Zsl, Kew gardens, Merriest Wood College and the Forestry commission to name but a few,
In particular I was delighted to meet Dr Debbie Bartlett Principle lecture of Greenwich
University who is a life member of the coppice group and whom is regularly involved with
advising on coppicing policy and environmental issues on the European stage.
My thanks go out to Clive Cobie for his help on the day manning the display, Graham
Bowbrick for the loan of willow baskets and spoons.
Palmstead plant day by Clive Cobie
I am honoured to be part of such an awesome group of people as the Sussex & Surrey Coppice group.
The day I spent with Blueberry Bob at the show was fantastic, it was full of useful
information and passionate speakers, whilst Bob did the rounds talking and making
important connections with many people I was able to chat to people on the stand,
for much of the time both of us were burning the ears of those people that showed
an interest in coppicing and helping with technical questions, we were able to explain
the importance of the coppice industry to them in many ways,
1 , Making use of the by-products that arise from a close relationship with the
An unbroken link with our early beginnings as a race.
2, The many products that can be produced, BB was chatting to landscape
designers about the industry’s benefits in that respect, I was chatting about the
benefits in the group as a whole and our dedication to use our unique skills and
passion to educate people in the cycles of nature, creation of habitat and recording
specifics of biodiversity in the various areas of our country, which as the climate
warms will be very important. In the talks one of the speakers gave us this gem
(www.Futureflora.org )impressing On us the importance of keeping our eyes open
for drought resistant trees etc and recording them.
3, As the theme at the conference was to do with the climate and capture of co2 , we
were able to explain to people the importance of the industry in that respect.
To sum up it was a fantastic day, and the food wasn’t bad either.
Sussex & Surrey Coppice group