Cutbacks that keep our woodlands wild
NATURE’S WAY: Coppicing provides a wide variety of animals with suitable habitats
KENTISH Stour Countryside Project conservation volunteers were out last week carrying out a traditional form of woodland management, coppicing in a small woodland near Old Wives Lees. They were working in the fiveacre Gorewell Wood, which has been managed with the help of the KSCP and its volunteers since 1993. Coppice woods are one of the most diverse types of woodland and fortunately there are still many in Kent, although due to a decline in the markets for coppice material, many are now being neglected. The wood near Chilham is home to a large number of plants and animals, one of the most notable is the dormouse. A rare and very small mouse, which is about 7cm long, it weighs about the same as two £1 coins. It is a protected species and a licence is needed to disturb or handle it. Fifteen volunteers from KSCP were coppicing, which involves cutting small trees like hazel to a few centimetres above ground level. The method is usually undertaken on a rotation, which means that there are always areas of the wood at different stages of growth and that is what leads to coppice woodlands being so diverse. Matt Hayes from KSCP said: “Coppice woodlands are beautiful places especially in spring when everything comes to life.” Some of the materials cut will be used for hedge laying this week. Volunteer tasks are carried out every Wednesday and Thursday and occasional weekends.
Coppice woodlands are beautiful places, especially in spring
Anyone interested in volunteering or who would like any more information about the KSCP should visit www.kentishstour.org.uk or phone 01233 813307 or e-mail email@example.com
The dormouse is one of our smallest and rarest mice
Bluebells in Gorewell Wood, Old Wives Lees, which is managed by the Kentish Stour Countryside project