Elford Heath – Tree Works update

The first stage of the tree works is nearing completion at Elford Heath, which has significantly opened up the pool area.

It has been a major piece of work, and has resulted in a massive change to the outlook of the area around the pool. It is important to note however, that the large trees have not been felled, but coppiced.

 

This is a traditional countryside technique used in the management of trees around a pool, and does a number of things, including increasing the amount of light reaching the pool, reducing the contamination of leaf litter/branches in the pool and creating a new type of marginal habitat. It is also possible that we may see some new plants/flowers emerging due to the lack of competition from the large trees and increased light levels.  Most importantly, the remaining stumps still have a full root system and from next spring they will start to quickly regrow and produce a coppice stool as shown below:
image of coppiced tree.png

Image of a coppiced tree

 

These new coppice stools can then be managed on a 5 year rotational basis quite easily by volunteers, to the height/spread we choose. Dependant on the tree species, growth from next spring will be quite rapid.
It has had a large impact on the area initially and we can appreciate this may have concerned local residents. However, regrowth will occur, and the work will greatly improve the quality of the pool water, the outlook of the pool, and hopefully increase biodiversity by the creation of new marginal habitat areas.
Coppicing can help to prevent the appearance of dead or diseased wood in the tree, by renewing constant fresh growth and the removal of old wood, allowing the tree to live for a lot longer than if it were left un-coppiced.  in conjunction with the retention of mature woodland, it can increase the diversity of trees in the area.
Eccleshall Parish Council are committed to conserving a key natural habitat in Eccleshall, whilst working to further enhance and promote biodiversity in order to produce an area that residents will be proud of and enjoy for years to come.