One and half years ago I started following the story on a single ancient ash coppice stool. In January 2011 it caught my attention in a woodland because someone had written, on one of its freshly-cut limb stumps, the following:
“This was one our best loved trees. We are sad that you have cut it down”Anon., January 2011
What interested me was the lack of understanding by a member of the public about woodland management in general, and specifically about coppicing. After all, coppiced woodlands provide some of the richest wildlife habitats in British forests, and an ash Fraxinus excelsior stool like this one would have split in two if its limbs had been left to grow any larger. So, in my view, the cutting of the old coppice stool was a very positive activity. I have since been returning regularly to look at the coppice stool:- you can see the story and photos here.
On my last visit in May 2012, I was sad that some of the regrowth on the top of the stump had been damaged, partly by browsing deer and mostly it seemed by children using it as something to climb over; it does after all have a fascinating shape. Further down on the sides of the old stool there were more encouraging signs of regrowth. Let’s hope that these escape any damage.