Coppicing and Snowberry clearance at Roundshaw Woods

On Sunday the 30th November, a group of employees from the United Parcel Service (UPS) took a break from their busy pre-Christmas deliveries, to help carry out some habitat maintenance at Roundshaw Woods.

The weather was on our side and the trees helped to shield us from the wind, as we set about our work. The first task was to clear a large patch of  invasive snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) that is covering the ground layer in certain parts of the woodland. This alien species, native to North America, thrives in our climate and as a result can quickly spread through UK woodlands, out-competing native species, such as our bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta). So with loppers and gloves, we went about cutting and pulling out as much of it as possible, managing to clear a surprisingly large area.

Coppicing

Coppicing

After a break for tea and biscuits we went to a different area of the site to carry out some coppicing. We avoided thin straight branches, as they are perfect for wreath making and weaving, so we can go back and harvest them when they are needed. By removing some of the thicker, more gnarled branches, we were promoting new growth, which would hopefully be more suitable for traditional crafts, as well as allowing more light to reach the woodland floor.

As much as everyone one was enjoying themselves, tiredness and hunger eventually prevailed and so we called it a day, leaving happy with the work we had done.

Matt Pendry
Biodiversity Project Officer

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