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54 Alder trees planted in Farnham

Updated: Jan 25

Last weekend we braved the icy cold to add some more alder trees to Carron Pond in Farnham. The ones we planted there before, with Volvo, have more than doubled in size over the past year, so it's clearly a good spot for this species. Since these trees are going to be coppiced (see below), we thought we could easily squeeze a few more into this planting site. Huge thanks to local company, Healing Frequencies, for donation money to buy more alder.

What's 'coppiced' I hear you ask?

Coppicing is a traditional technique of harvesting wood. I know-I know 'harvesting' is not in line with our mission of restoring nature, but here's why like it...

When a tree is coppiced, its trunk is cut close to the ground which stimulates vigorous regrowth. Typically, a coppiced tree will send out multiple poles (thin trunks) which are allowed to mature before they are coppiced. This is a process that can happen again and again, significantly extending the lifespan of a tree (by preventing the manifestation of dead or diseased wood), and enabling it to capture more atmospheric carbon (by continuously and vigorously growing more poles).

Coppicing can also dramatically increase woodland biodiversity -

  • Removing some of the canopy through coppicing enables dappled light and warmth to reach the ground, which encourages the growth of woodland flowers (eg. British bluebells, wood anemone, dog violets and St. John’s wort). This in turn provides an essential food source for pollinating insects

  • Coppicing can increase the diversity of trees, by leaving certain species to reach maturity, whilst repressing other, more numerous, species

  • Wood gathered from coppicing can be left in piles to provide habitats for a large variety of invertebrates, mosses, lichens and fungi. I am all in for this!

We need more patches of coppiced woodland to help our struggling wildlife. The UK has lost 50% of its biodiversity, and this age-old technique can be used to help turn things around.

You can help us Green Up Britain via -

  • Donation - every penny helps restore nature around the UK

  • Volunteering - join our growing list of helpers

  • Sponsorship - we'll plant trees on behalf of your company

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