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CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)
Saturday, 25th October 2014
Paices Wood Country Park, Aldermaston ~ Sustainable Woodlands Day (BBOWT event)

Autumn had clearly arrived when CROW visited Paices Wood to participate in the Sustainable Woodlands event. This event had been organised by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) and we had been invited to demonstrate coppicing and to explain its purpose, history and importance in maintaining the biodiversity of woodland.

In 2004 what is now the West Berkshire Countryside Society working with the defunct Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), started work on the first of a series of coppice plots which they and CROW have since created.

Having set up base at the edge of one of the existing plots, John prepares for action.

Rushall Farm had kindly supplied a number of items which would in the past have been made from timber. Today many of these items or their equivalents are made from metal or plastic.

Sign installed at the time the first coppice plot was created.

Limited publicity meant we were not overwhelmed with visitors. However the families who did come together with many of the local residents out walking their dogs did stop for a chat, showing interest in and appreciation of the work we do.

It had been the intention to allow people and especially the children to 'have a go' and to this end we thinned one coppice stool to make access easier. Unfortunately most of the children who attended were too young to participate and the stool remained 'thinned'.

With only a few visitors we kept ourselves busy cutting stakes and binders for a future hedgelaying project together with bean poles requested by an enthusiastic gardener.

The 'coppicers' .....

....., their toolkit .....

..... and (part of) the product of their labours - ten stakes and almost fifty binders. Forty beans poles were also cut.

Verdict: an enjoyable day in some beautiful woodland.

Created: Sunday, 26th October 2014
Photographs: Alan Stevens