Coppicing at Butcher’s Wood
Despite recent heavy rain and windy weather, volunteers from Butcher’s Wood have continued their coppicing work this winter to help improve the woodland ecology at the site.
Butchers Wood is a small (7.12ha) ancient semi-natural woodland at the northern boundary of the South Downs National Park in West Sussex, situated just outside of the village of Hassocks. The wood was originally part of the Danny Estate and following a campaign led by local people, was acquired by the Trust in December 1988, funded entirely by donations from the local council and local groups and societies.
Long term volunteers at the wood, Mick and Linda Fitter, who were instrumental in the campaign to save the wood, wanted to ensure Butcher’s Wood was protected for future generations to enjoy.
The wood is characterised by its thriving hazel coppice understory and once in the safe hands of the Trust, Mick and Linda were keen to get stuck in and learn more about woodland management. Linda, who has a background working in education, wanted to engage with the local community as well as play an active role in managing and preserving the wood. With this in mind, they set up a small woodland working group to manage the rotational hazel coppicing each year.
30 years on, the group remains dedicated to the site, with volunteer leaders Ian Wood and Tom Drake-Lee organising monthly work parties during the winter months, under the direction of site manager Phil Truluck.
Phil and volunteer development officer, Lucy Shea, went to visit the group during their February work party to say a massive thank you to past and present volunteers who have helped to care for and coppice the site each year. Their knowledge, hard work and dedication not only enabled us to buy the site, but continues to help us conserve its special features for wildlife and people to enjoy in the future!
You can read more about the management plan at Butcher’s Wood if you visit here on our website.