Coppicing Training in Old Wood, Lincolnshire
What a fantastic weekend! We knew we were going to enjoy our coppicing training, but didn’t realise quite how much. Our Volunteer Team works in two Lincolnshire woods, Sibsey Wood and Skellingthorpe Old Wood. In October we were joined by our lovely trainers: Tom and Ned from Leeds Coppice Worker as well as a fellow volunteer from the Londonthorpe Team.
Tom and Ned make their living from coppicing caring for woodlands and selling the ‘products’ and, over the course of the weekend, taught us how to transform a patch of neglected hazels into neat ‘coupe’ in which we ‘layered’ some of the old hazels to make new plants and enable our coupe to thrive in the years to come. Meanwhile we learned how to make traditional coppicing products including bean poles; pea sticks; walking sticks; washing line props; stakes and weavers for fencing.
Tom and Ned taught us how to make all of these things safely and sensitively – everything was done with the best interests of our beautiful, ancient woodland, opening up the space and throwing new light into the wood. Along the way we learned how to use a bill hook; tie a Thatcher’s Knot and look at the woods we care for in a new light.
Most of us took a new treasure home with us, whether bundle of bean poles for the allotment; a walking stick or a hipster, hazel washing line prop. Now we are looking forward to the spring when we’ll see the hazel stools sprout and come back to life. Huge thanks to Claire Green, James Jesson and the WT volunteering team for organising a great weekend.
by Toby Blower and Jules Acton, Group Leaders, Sibsey & Old Wood Group