News from the Mill - The Hazel Coppice


The numbers are the years since the bushes were last coppiced

The hazel coppice was planted in 2003 using single stemmed plants. After allowing them to grow into large multi-stemmed bushes, they are now being coppiced on a seven year cycle. Each year a limited number of bushes will be cut down to within a few inches of ground level. The resulting stools will regenerate from dorment buds on the remaining stumps or from below ground level, as seen in the photograph above. The cut stems are being used for fencing, bean poles and pea sticks.

Traditional uses for hazel stems include the once common 'wattle-and-daub' walling, sheep hurdles, thatching spars, clothes props, tool handles and walking sticks. The wood can also be used to produce high quality charcoal for drawing and barbecues. Large mixed hazel coppices are also the natural habitat of dormice - we live in hope!