Aconbury Wood

Coppicing is a traditional method of managing woodland in which young tree shoots are repeatedly cut down to near ground level. In subsequent growth years, many new shoots will emerge, and, after a number of years the coppiced tree is ready to be harvested, and the cycle begins again. (Note that the noun coppice means a growth of small trees or a forest coming from shoots or suckers.)The woodland is harvested in rotation, - just as with the crops on our farm. In this way, a crop is available each year somewhere in the woodland. Coppicing has the effect of providing a rich variety of habitats, as the woodland always has a range of different-aged coppice growing in it, which is really beneficial for biodiversity. Chestnut can be grown in this way and because it is straight and really hard the orginal use was to provide hop-poles to support the hop plants whilst they are growing . Nowadays is it usually cut on a 12 to 18 year cycle to make into cleft chestnut paling fences or stakes. One of the local woods on the Duchy Estate runs a project, in conjunction with Wye Wood, to encourage people with both physical and mental health problems to learn traditional skills and improve their quality of life. Partly funded through the local Primary Care Trust and the Forestry Commission, people are referred to the project to take advantage of woodland walks or to develop their skills through learning traditional crafts. The result of all this is healthier, happier individuals …and these lovely feeders. Made from Chestnut, a naturally durable hardwood (fence posts made with Chestnut last longer than those made from Oak!), these lovely feeders will last in your garden for many years to come.

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