Protecting our woods is a great way to protect wildlife. So why do we encourage people to chop down trees and burn them? And how can a Scout groups and two abseilers help?
Chopping down the coppice
Hazel coppice is an important habitat for protected Dormice.
Coppices are a type of woodland where regularly cutting down the trees can help protect wildlife. Trees like Hazel are grown and then cut down to a stump. Lots of long straight stems grow up from the stump, which are perfect to use as timber. The stems get cut down and the process starts again. Trees have been coppiced like this in Britain for the last 4000 years.
Because the cutting is done on small patches of trees in a rotation, there is always a mixture of young, thin stems which let lots of light through to the floor, and old, thick stems which make more shade. This makes coppices two habitats rolled into one.
Freeholders Wood in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is a Hazel coppice. Under the young stems are light-loving plants like Wood Aven's, Lady's Mantle, Wild Strawberries, Bluebells and Dog Violets. Under the older stems Dog's mercury and Wood Anenome's grow in the shade. This mix of plants provides food for birds like Nuthatches, Treecreepers, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Songthrush. Dormice also live in hazel coppices, because they can make a nest in the mature trees and get lots of their favourite food - hazelnuts.
Freeholders Wood is such a special habitat, that we made it a Local Nature Reserve, so local people can enjoy and help us protect it.
Biodiversity is about more. More species of plants, insects, birds and animals. But sometimes to get more you need to put in less. To get lots of biodiversity in meadows and grasslands we help farmers do