Coppicing in Queens Wood Coppicing is the traditional practice of periodically cutting trees  and shrubs to a low stump from which several new stems grow.  Coppicing was originally undertaken to produce wood for fuel, fencing, furniture making, etc.  Trees which are coppiced are not being killed; in fact coppicing often extends a tree’s lifespan.

Queen’s Wood would have been coppiced for several centuries before it became public land.  Hornbeam was the species of tree traditionally coppiced, whereas the oak trees (the other major species in the wood) were grown for timber and allowed to grow into large canopy trees.

For a long time after the wood became public, coppicing was discontinued but it has been revived in a number of parts of the wood in recent years.  The most recent schemes have been supported by the Forestry Commission’s English Woodland grant Scheme and Mayor’s Community Grant Scheme to help maintain species diversity and habitat structure for the benefit of wildlife.

The benefits of coppicing are that it lets sunlight into the Wood allowing flowering plants and insects to thrive.  It also allows new trees to grow which will in time replace those that we lose through old age.

There are no immediate plans for more coppicing, but the Management Plan calls for extending coppicing in appropriate areas and managing existing coppices in the future.

Coppicing with horses link


A new Botanic survey of Coppiced area can be seen by clicking HERE