Believe or not “Cutting Down Trees can be Good for the Environment”! Imagine if for every tree you cut down, several more were to grow in its place
Ok before you you go to grab your chainsaw, I had better explain.
Many woody plants when cut at the base as near as possible will sprout new healthy growth. When managed properly this process known as coppicing can not only maintain healthy woodland but create a sustainable supply of material for craft work, fuel and building material and provide a diverse ecosystem there flora and fauna can thrive.
Coppicing or Coppice Silviculture or Coppice Agroforestry is a traditional craft where woodlands are managed on a rotation with a new section of woodland coppiced every year.
In England coppiced woodlands were a source of charcoal for the Iron making industry and were therfore highly valued.
Coppiced woodlands are very much a “Living Woodland”. As new sections are cut, sunlight reaches areas previously in shade creating a tapestry of vegetation such as primroses, wood anemones and bluebells. Meanwhile previously coppiced sections are regrowing rapidly providing cover for a whole variety of wildlife.
Most of the woodlands here at the Nature School are likely to have been here for hundreds, possibly thousands of years. In 2001 we commenced the first coppice and the following year we started the development of the New Native Woodlands.
This work was supported by the Native Woodland Scheme and the work was carried out by Native woodland expert Joe Gowran.
The craft of Coppice Silviculture and other associated crafts have become popular again in Ireland thanks to the work of Muintir na Coille (The Coppice Association of Ireland).
In 2013 Nature School will be running a series of introductory course to the craft of Coppicing which will cover both the theory and practical demonstrations.
To find out more