Hazel Coppicing in Foxley Wood

5th January 2023, by Andrew Wood

Hazel Coppicing in Foxley Wood

In January and February will be starting work on coppicing the Hazel Plantation next to the top path, near the Woodland Way entrance.

Coppicing is a traditional form of woodland management that has shaped many of the remaining semi-natural woodlands in the UK. Periodic cutting actually prolongs the life of the tree as well as creating a rich mosaic of habitats attracting a wide range of flora and fauna. Woods that have not been coppiced tend to be of the same age and structure, supporting fewer species. A coppiced wood is cut periodically with the trees allowed to regrow from the cut stumps called stools. This produces numerous shoots or poles rather than one main stem. Regrowth can be very fast, often as much as two metres in a year. The coppicing work carried out by volunteers will not only provide FoF with some excellent firewood but also material for creating a dead hedge, an important habitat for wildlife. It will also provide better opportunities for some local native butterfly species to exploit and maybe attract rarer species such as the Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia).


We are grateful to IT and business consulting firm CGI for their help with this project and the donation 60 hazel whips. On Wednesday 22nd February, following previous work by the Friends of Foxley, the hazel whips were planted and the dead hedge was extended with the help of volunteers from CGI.

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This link to the RSPB explains some of the benefits of dead hedges.

The Friends of Foxley are a group of volunteers who manage Foxley Wood in Kenley, Surrey.