National Beanpole Week takes place from 13-21 April and celebrates Britain’s coppiced woodlands, the animals and plants that live in them, the coppice workers who look after them and the beanpoles and other coppice wood products they produce. Run by the Small Woods Association since 2008, National Beanpole Week encourages gardeners to support Britain’s coppiced woodlands by choosing eco-friendly, locally-grown coppiced beanpoles instead of imported bamboo canes.
Traditionally managed coppiced woodlands are a really important part of our countryside because they supply us with truly sustainable wood, provide an incredibly rich wildlife habitat, support hundreds of rural jobs and keep many ancient skills and traditions alive. Traditional coppicing is Britain’s most sustainable form of woodland management. Coppicing is the craft of carefully cutting trees to ground level and managing the new shoots to a usable size before cutting again. Coppiced wood is grown to produce long straight stems with few or no side branches.
Coppiced woodland is harvested in rotation, ensuring a continual supply of wood and creating a habitat patchwork that is crucially important for many species including woodland fritillary butterflies, nightingales, willow warblers, the endangered common dormouse, bluebells and primroses.
Britain lost 90% of its coppiced woodland during the 20th century – and to protect what remains, we need to support the coppice workers who manage these woods by buying their excellent eco-friendly coppiced beanpoles.
As part of National Beanpole Week, there will be events taking place across England. Check out what’s happening near you here http://www.beanpoles.org.uk/events/ and do your bit to support wildlife and our rural landscapes.