Posted 8th Nov 2017 by Peter Byrne
Greenwood Twiggs has received the TD GreenStreets grant to help to create a hectare of coppice woodland in Bury, Greater Manchester
The project will run across two sites, and involves working with the local community groups and schools to help to create new woodland used for coppicing, ancient woodland management techniques and part of our cultural heritage.
Greenwood Twiggs is a social enterprise which manages a number of woodlands across the region, bringing both unmanaged and unloved urban habitats back into use to the benefit of people and the environment.
The project secured a £10,000 grant from TD Green Streets - a grant programme which launched last year by City of Trees and TD Securities.
Communities across Greater Manchester were invited to develop ideas for urban forestry projects - this was done with the aim of bringing nature to our towns and cities, with applications received across the region. An award scheme also launched to run across Greater London.
Greenwood Twiggs was chosen as the winner of the award, receiving the cash award to plant 600 trees at Mount Sion Road, Radcliffe, and 2,000 trees at Waterdale, which is part of City Forest Park.
The programme of activity will involve coppicing the existing woodland, where harvested wood will be used to make rustic furniture, as well as to run sessions which will teach people green woodworking skills.
Greenwood Twiggs, along with City of Trees, works with vulnerable people from START in Salford, to enable them to source wood for free in their workshop sessions, and Achieve Salford Recovery Services - The Orchard, which teaches new skills, developing confidence and unlocking employment opportunities.
Kevin Wigley, City of Trees, commented: "This unique project recognises and celebrates the importance of our urban woodlands realising their huge potential and involving people of all ages and abilities in taking care of our trees and woods from start to finish".
Natalie Twiggs, who runs the social enterprise Greenwood Twiggs, says: "We are really excited about showing people how wonderful are local woodlands are. It’s always great to see the possibilities of what you can make and involve people in the creative process."
Coppicing is a traditional method of managing woodland, offering numerous benefits which include boosting biodiversity and encouraging new flora and fauna.
Areas of woodland, or coupes, will be harvested on rotation every seven years, with young tree stems repeatedly cut down near ground level. In subsequent years, more new shoots will emerge, and the tree, or stool, is ready to be harvested, before the cycle begins again.
Coppice woodland forms an important part of Britain's cultural heritage, but the 20th Century saw a marked decline with the skills beginning to be lost. However, in recent years, there has been a renewed interest.