For many centuries coppicing was a widespread activity involving the cutting down of a tree near to the base of the trunk with the object of providing a crop of poles for hurdles and so on as re-growth took place from the stool. The practice began to die out, perhaps as labour became scarce in the countryside, but has been revived over recent decades when it became evident that so much of our woodland flora - primroses, bluebells and the like - was beginning to disappear. Coppicing allows sunlight to penetrate to the woodland floor and is regarded generally as good woodland management. It could be argued that in some woodlands it is done to an excess but in Byfield Pocket Park it is certainly needed and I assume some sort of rotational coppicing may be the aim (the cycle was generally a ten- or fifteen-year one, depending on the sort of poles required).
Hazel stool left by coppicing in Byfield Pocket Park.
4 March, 2017
A sweeping branch of Spindle shows off its new growth. Byfield
Pocket Park, 4 March, 2017