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Rangers to demonstrate ancient woodland skills at free event

Visitors to a Wolverhampton nature reserve will be able to discover more about the ancient art of tree coppicing next month.

Northycote Farm's rangers will be demonstrating the traditional technique of woodland management at a special event on Sunday 8 February, 2015

People will be able to see examples of coppiced woodland around the 90 acre park, which is off Underhill Lane, Bushbury, and also find out what benefits coppicing brings, both to the local wildlife and people.

Coppicing, which has been practised in England for centuries, is a traditional method of woodland management. Young tree stems are repeatedly cut down close to ground level and, over the following years, many new shoots emerge before, eventually, the coppiced tree is harvested and the cycle begins again.

The woodlands are managed on a rotation system, meaning that small areas are cut each year and then left for several years. Managed correctly, bio-diversity can increase in the woodland because of the different light levels reaching the woodland floor.

Harvested wood was traditionally used for everything from fuel, furniture, sheep hurdles, baskets and fencing to ships planking and timber for Tudor houses, while coppiced trees can live for hundreds of years.

The free event takes place from 11am - meet in the courtyard just beforehand and bring suitable clothing and footwear.

Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: "This free event will give people the chance to learn more about an ancient skill which is still being practiced today.

"Our rangers have a wealth of skills at their disposal to maintain and develop our city's natural habitat, and they are looking forward to demonstrating some of them to visitors."

For more information, please call Northycote Farm on 01902 397906 or visit Facebook.

  • released: Thursday 29 January, 2015