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Hazel Coppice

Thursday, October 28th 2021

Habitat management tasks that were put on hold during the summer months can now begin again. Along Risedale Beck there is a Hazel woodland which is managed through selective coppicing. This traditional woodland skill involves cutting the stools to ground level in order to encourage new growth and prolong the life of the trees. The result is increased light reaching the ground flora and benefitting the wildflowers.

There was a lot of growth on the trees as this particular area hasn't been worked on for several years. 

Some of the larger pieces of timber were made into rustic fence posts and then the brash was woven into a 'dead hedge' alongside the footpath.

Rather than cutting all of the trunks to ground level at Foxglove the Hazel has always been 'selectively' coppiced. This means that only two thirds of the stems are removed. By taking away the older and larger ones and leaving some of the young shoots a 'dappled' shade is created on the woodland floor. There should be an increase in the number of Bluebells and Primroses on this bank next Spring.

A team from the Personnel Recovery Centre joined in with today's task which made a great difference to the amount of work accomplished during the day.

The cut wood was organised into large lengths for the poles and thinner more pliable pieces for the hedge.

Although unfinished, by the end of the day the new structure was already 'pleasing to the eye' and our thanks go to everyone who has worked on this project so far.

This wasn't the only new feature to be found on the reserve as some mysterious carved pumpkins appeared in the picnic area! Is 'pumpkin bombing' a thing?!

On closer inspection it was clear that they weren't just for the benefit of the visitors as they were filled with bird seed.

Thank you to the pumpkin fairies who left these lovely bird feeders behind, the birds will enjoy them!


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