By Angie, Feb 26 2013 10:00AM
Our allotment site has coppiced hazel which was planted on three plots which had been quite difficult to rent out during a time when allotment rentals were at an all-time low. The plots are on a steep hill, so would have needed extensive terracing to make them productive. Therefore, the committee at the time decided to plant a hazel coppice as a resource for plotholders.
In the years that followed, the coppice had become very overgrown and so I asked the question whether there were any moves afoot to start clearing so plotholders could make use of this valuable resource.
The response came back - yes, if you fancy getting a crowd together!
Well, being up for a challenge, I set to work typing up a couple of posters inviting plotmembers and then once very wet windy day in November 2012, we decided to start tackling the undergrowth and clearing the brambles so we could access the coppice.
I cannot confess to being the most productive of individuals on that working party, but a lot was achieved - particularly in view of the appalling weather conditions we were working in - more than one of us took a tumble on the sloping clay hill and I was glad I had offered to bring along some hot soup and rolls for the hard workers.
This started the clearance work, but a couple of dedicated plotholders decided to tackle the remainder.
We will be looking to hold a further working party before the end of March so we can go through the process of how to coppice and grade some of the bushes to ensure we have a sustainable supply. I have placed my order for a billhook ready for the next working party! More information will follow on this one!