With a revival in timber prices and woodland industries, many woodland owners are again cutting coppice coupes. While the market for traditional coppice products has declined, there are buoyant new markets for timber and woodfuel – creating more opportunities to unlock extra income.
Coppice coupes can be anywhere up to 1 ha. Coupe size is usually determined by the overall size of the woodland, the number of coupes being cut, length of coppice cycle and local site conditions, such as accessibility.
Standards are trees that are retained within the coupe to reach maturity, including oak, ash, sycamore and sweet chestnut. Selected standards are kept to provide quality timber and provide great habitat for other wildlife. Other species of tree that coppice well are hazel, small leaf lime, sweet chestnut, alder and willow.
After felling, cut coppice stumps are protected to allow them to regenerate. Temporary fencing is the most common and effective method of protection. Regenerating stumps may be layered with ‘whippy shoots’ pegged down to form new stools or supplemented by planting trees to fill up any gaps.