Community coppicing social enterprise scoops £10,000 funding pot

by | Nov 5, 2017 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

Greenwood Twiggs has been awarded the TD GreenStreets grant to help create a hectare of coppice woodland in Bury, Greater Manchester.

The project, which will be run across two sites, will involve working with local community groups and schools to create new woodland used for coppicing, an ancient woodland management technique and part of our cultural heritage.

Greenwood Twiggs is a social enterprise who manages a number of woodlands across the region, bringing unmanaged and unloved urban habitats back into use benefitting both people and the environment. The project secured a £10,000 grant from TD Green Streets – a grant programme launched last year by TD Securities and City of Trees.

Communities across Greater Manchester were invited to develop ideas for urban forestry projects, aiming to bring a touch of nature to our towns and cities, with applications received from across the region. An award scheme was also run across Greater London.

Greenwood Twiggs has been chosen as the Greater Manchester winner, 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 extensive programme of activity will involve coppicing existing woodland, where the harvested wood will be used for making rustic furniture as well as running sessions to teach people green woodworking skills.

Greenwood Twiggs, alongside City of Trees, will be working with vulnerable people from START in Salford, enabling them to source wood for free for their workshop sessions, and Achieve Salford Recovery Services – The Orchard teaching people new skills, developing confidence and unlocking employment opportunities.

Kevin Wigley, City of Trees, comments; “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.”

She adds; “We are looking forward to working with different local groups and seeing the positive impact it has on them, the woodlands and the environment”.

Coppicing is a traditional way of managing woodland which offers numerous benefits including boosting biodiversity and encouraging new flora and fauna.

Areas of woodland, or coupes, are harvested on rotation every seven years. Young tree stems are repeatedly cut down near ground level, then in subsequent years many new shoots will emerge and the tree, or stool, is ready to be harvested and the cycle begins again.

Coppice woodland forms an important part of our cultural heritage here in Britain but the 20th century saw a marked decline with the skills being lost over time. However during recent years there has been renewed interest.

The TD Greenstreets grant scheme is a partnership with Community Forest Trust and TD Bank Group. Two funding allocations of £10,000 are provided to support two innovative community-based urban forestry projects; one in Greater Manchester and one in Greater London.