Working with woodland managers to restore neglected woodland and create a more sustainable, ecologically and visually diverse landscape.
Coppiced over many centuries, the extensive woodlands of the Rusland Valley and Fells once supported hundreds of jobs and fuelled a large part of the local economy. The coppices are a haven for many threatened plant, butterfly, moth, bird and small mammal species, but much of this woodland is now under-managed and important habitats are being lost.Through the Coupes and Cords project, we are working with apprentices, woodland owners, volunteers and contractors to carry out a variety of woodland management activities, focusing on coppicing but also including thinning, boundary work, deer management and enrichment planting.
Aims and benefits:
Update June 2017:...
The area’s woodlands were intensively worked for many centuries to produce charcoal and many other wood products. When demand for charcoal declined in the twentieth century, most of this working woodland became commercially redundant, leading to a lack of management and neglect. This means that their character is changing, resulting in even-aged stands of trees that will all reach maturity and begin to die at the same time. Habitat structure is also declining, leading to loss of species. If we take action now, some of this decline can be reversed and coppice revived.
By engaging with a wide range of landowners we hope to make long lasting positive change in woodlands across the scheme area. Using apprentices, volunteers, local coppice workers and contractors we hope to restore several woodlands by carrying out essential management tasks. This will help declining woodland flora and increase habitat for a range of rare species once prevalent in the region.
We are supporting woodland owners to produce Woodland Management Plans and, where possible, access Countryside Stewardship grants to sustain the work. Increasing local knowledge of woodland flora, fauna and management techniques through more areas covered by woodland management plans will help to leave a legacy of good practice. Local woodland practitioners can continue this work for years to come.
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