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Call for Help - Working Bee on 30th September

posted 15 Sep 2015, 16:11 by OC Web   [ updated 15 Sep 2015, 21:40 ]
Following on from discussions here at the college we are going ahead on a coppicing project (see details below).  This will require a Working Bee on Wednesday 30th September 10.00 am at College on the rear field to plant out 1500 willows and poplars.

It would be brilliant if parents could come along and help (bring your own spade) regardless of weather.

If you could also let your wider networks know and get others to come in and help that would be brilliant.

Many thanks, Andy Fraser, Principal

Coppicing is an English term for a traditional method of woodland management which takes advantage of the fact that many trees make new growth from the stump or roots if cut down. In a coppiced wood, young tree stems are repeatedly cut down to near ground level. In subsequent growth years, many new shoots will emerge, and, after a number of years the coppiced tree, or stool, is ready to be harvested, and the cycle begins again.

Many forestry practices worldwide involve cutting and regrowth, and coppicing has been of significance in many parts of lowland temperate Europe. The widespread and long-term practice of coppicing as a landscape-scale industry is something that remains of special importance in lowland England. For this reason many of the English-language terms referenced in this article are particularly relevant to historic and contemporary practice in that area.

Typically a coppiced woodland is harvested in sections or coups[1] on a rotation. In this way, a crop is available each year somewhere in the woodland. Coppicing has the effect of providing a rich variety of habitats, as the woodland always has a range of different-aged coppice growing in it, which is beneficial for biodiversity. The cycle length depends upon the species cut, the local custom, and the use to which the product is put. Birch can be coppiced for faggots (bundles of brushwood) on a three- or four-year cycle, whereas oak can be coppiced over a fifty-year cycle for poles or firewood.

Coppicing maintains trees at a juvenile stage, and a regularly coppiced tree will never die of old age — some coppice stools may therefore reach immense ages. The age of a stool may be estimated from its diameter, and some are so large—perhaps as much as 5.4 metres (18 ft) across — that they are thought to have been continually coppiced for centuries.