Coppice at Westonbirt Arboretum
Coppicing is a traditional method of managing a woodland, which involves cutting trees in areas of woodland (or coups) down to the stump and allowing new shoots to grow. Written records from 17th and 19th centaury show Silk Wood being coppiced to produce tan bark, fuel wood and small constructional material. In the 21st centaury commercial management both protects the historic landscape aids biodiversity whilst still producing traditional coppice products.
Coppicing at Westonbirt Arboretum is essential in providing continuity of our traditional landscape, and supporting our rich flora and fauna. There are also opportunities for the interpretation of historical forms of management practiced in Silk Wood and provide meaningful activities for groups engaged in the arboretum’s community programme.
The Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum are currently fundraising to ensure our committed coppicers have the facilities required to carry out their day to day activities by building a permanent timber structure which will provide shelter from the elements, as well as store their coppicing equipment safely. The structure will also provide a drying area for material to be readied for the charcoal kiln.
You can purchase Westonbirt BBQ charcoal made onsite by our coppicers every Monday during summer at the end of the STIHL Treetop Walkway and Beanpoles and Peasticks when in season.
For our coppicers Westonbirt coups are their livelihood as well as allowing visitors to see traditional forest management in action. From the harvested coups our coppicers produce and sell hurdles, tent pegs, beanpoles, faggots, shingles, laths, charcoal and much more.