When you are out driving or walking around the Kent countryside you might come across a bit of woodland that looks like a Hurricane has just ripped through it. Don’t worry about that though, as it’s probably just a bit of coppicing, a centuries old wood land management technique that helps our local woodlands and wildlife thrive.
The Romans originally brought Chestnut over from Spain to provide fuel for the iron industry in the Weald and the woodlands they planted have been used by generations in Kent to supply everything from hop poles to fence posts, pit props, the raw material for paper production and of course firewood. Bertie’s helps carry on this tradition by using locally coppiced timber for all our firewood production.
When a wood is coppiced the trees are cut down to about a foot of so from the ground and this allows them to regrow (think of pruning roses on a giant scale). Coppicing usually takes place every 12 – 15 years in blocks around the wood and this allows many types of flora and fauna to flourish during the coppicing cycle. If the trees are not cut back regularly they tend to grow too large and can ‘topple’ over and die, so coppicing is a very important practice that helps keep our Kent woodlands healthy.