The historic reason for this strange situation still eludes me but,
the opportunity eventually came around to amend such strangeness in 1998 when the Local Authority (my empolyers) decided to participate in the Millennium Forest for Scotland project.
I realised that Hazel could grow in Angus in spite of its near, 99% absence from all but the steepest deepest, native wooded riversides or Dens, as we call them in Angus. Hazel was even absent in the urban landscaping schemes and rural ancient hedgerows! Things had to change.
As part of the Angus Millennium Forest, three year project, we planted around 6,335 hazel. With subsequent planting of 11,245, so a grand total of 17,580 hazel planted over approximately 10 years.
I incorporated into the AMF design two specific, 100% planted hazel woodlands as ‘Hazel coppice’ but with no real means or knowledge of managing them as coppice at that time. We came to the conclusion we could use hazel coppice as an urban forest design tool, as it is a small growing tree/shrub and may be cut to the ground and survive i.e. coppiced. But this had to be tested. These are useful attributes to have at your disposal, for the urban forester. While establishing and managing woodlands you can also retain views and light into peoples gardens and houses.
In 2008 the opportunity arose to amend my knowledge gap. I met an experienced hazel coppicer and hedge layer who lives locally in Forfar, what luck!
Torquel was looking for a local source of hedge laying hedge binders and stakes which I didn’t know I could supply.
The Hazel coppice project suddenly came to life and was made possible. So now, we have an example of a full rotation of 7 years of coppice in Forfar Lochside started 2009/10 and finishing in 2015/16. A second new site was started last year at Kirriemuir hill wood, a more exposed, slower growing site. This is rotation is a 9 year cycle from 2016 to 2024. It is a bigger site 0.79ha each coppice coup approximately 0.1ha. The ‘dead tree in the bundle’ is that it is costing the Council £1717per annum for felling with no outlet sale or use for the bent hazel timber, other than rabbit protection brash. Things will need to change, I hope through the active sale of hazel rods generating an income for Angus Council Parks Services to hely offset the outlay. But I am sure there are other great ideas out there in the wonderful world of coppice.
According to the 'tinterweb' smelting is still going on at Fortwilliam!
That would be an interesting market
The mention of the smelter at Fort William reminds me of when I was Chief Engineer for Ralph M Parsons who built the Pechiney designed smelter for British Aluminium back in the late 70's & early 80's.
The hazel rods are used to fish out impurities that gather on top of the pot cells that contain a bath of molten aluminium. Obviously metal rods cannot be used for this purpose as the smelting process is electrical and so would carry the risk of electrocution and also the very strong magnetic field generated by the bus bars would cause any steel based tools to stick to same.
We are coppicing on our patch (Potterland Hill - see map)
28th and 29th Jan. (If rained or snowed off then Feb 11th and 12th)
Volunteers always welcome - rewards 'in kind' hazel rods or coppice wood.
From 10 AM - 3PM (approx)
Bring lunch, water/drink, loppers. bowsaw. axe, billhook, gloves, stout footwear and warm/waterproof clothing.
Children must be accompanied and supervised. Approx 10AM-3PM
Spread the word! THE PLAN:
Contact Ed Iglehart (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details or "Watch this space!"
**Please note** The forest roads are not "Public Roads" so your car insurance may not cover use on them - exercise appropriate care. Coppice site accessible on foot from the
parking space opposite the Taliesin gate (illustrated in 'cover photo') -
Location map at the link:
https://www.facebook.com/TaliesinWoodla ... 3833281959
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest