In past times copsing was a very important rural trade, it is the cutting of young trees so that it will grow several shoots, and can therefore be harvested every few years. coppicing is now an important woodland conservation craft.
With the modern style of living the use of woodland products nearly died out, leaving our national woodland in serious decline. This has now been reversed by the conservationists and coppicing has become a very popular rural craft and pastime.
Coppicing is carried out in woodlands (coppices) of any size, from one tree in a cottage garden to a rural industry in a large woodland. all over the country
Normally an activity enjoyed and carried out by adults, as thought and patience are necessary, peacefulness the reward.
Physically someone undertaking coppicing must be able to use manhandle the wood and use sharp tools mainly a billhook, A basic knowledge of how to cut the tree to best advantage and with out harming it or the surrounding plants or wildlife.
The best and most popular trees to coppice are Ash, Willow, Chestnut and Hazel. Uses for the woodland crop are washing line props, bean poles, pea sticks, thatching spars, fencing, willow for basket making, hand tool handles and the residue used as fire wood for the home or for making charcoal. Straight grained wood such as Ash is best for tool handles while high fibre wood such as Hazel and Willow are best for weaving and twisting, Chestnut is best for fencing as it has a long life.
Coppicing as a craft rather than a profession needs no regular dedication, Although it is a seasonal activity carried out in the winter.
The potential of coppiceing is gained over years, from seeing a single stem become a useful plant with many stems, rejuvenating a woodland and supporting a rich variety of wild plants, birds and animals.
Coppicing is also spelt Copseing, as the woodland is called copse or coppice, a regional variation. Other closely related activities and reliant activities are Hedge laying 499, Conservation 156, Hurdle Making 501, Basket-Making 53, Gardening 736.
The cost of learning the craft of coppicing is minimal, the best method is by joining a conservation group who run learning days and will be delighted to pass on their experience. Coppicing as a crop can be rewarding, because of the many uses to which you can use the harvested wood.
Level of Demand
The table below shows the maximum levels of demand that this activity requires. NOTE: These are not entry levels or levels of requirement and has nothing to do with ability.
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