The gardening team and volunteers at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, are working on their annual winter hazel coppicing campaign. Every year they coppice a section of hazel on rotation, using a battery operated chainsaw to minimise the noise.
This ancient woodland management practice involves cutting young stems down to a stump. The tree then regrows and is cut again on a seven year cycle. All the young stems are used. They are sold in plant sales as pea sticks and bean poles and they are also being bundled up into faggots, which will build up the paths on sections of the Broads and Ranworth Walks.
Coppicing improves the biodiversity of the garden by preventing over-shading from the tree canopy. It is great for plants like bluebells, wood anemones and marsh marigolds. After a few years, brambles and climbing plants like honeysuckle start to grow – a very good food source for birds and mammals.
Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham NR13 6DZ. The garden is open every day during the winter, 10am to 4pm. There is a tearoom, gift shop and plant sales area.
T. 01603 270449, www.fairhavengarden.co.uk