I took a walk around Wappenbury and Old Nun Wood in Warwickshire – both under the ownership and management of the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. It was a mild, sunny autumn afternoon and I was wandering without any particular aim when I came across these lime coppices within the woodland
At first glance, you might think they were of any great age, judging by the size of the trunks themselves, but the coppice bole from which the new stems arise is much older than the stems. Coppicing is an ancient woodland management practise whereby the tree is cut back to ground level and new growth arises from the remaining trunk – the bole. This can significantly extend the life of a tree and provides a means by which the wood can be sustainably harvested on a regular cycle without ever killing the tree.
There are much older coppices of small-leaved lime in Warwickshire, as detailed in Steven Falk’s excellent series on the Trees of Warwickshire, but the elegance of these specimens was quite captivating.