Bramble trampolines and a bit of coppicing

Out with LCV (The Lothians Conservation Volunteers) on Sunday to do some vegetation management on the North Edinburgh Cycle routes near 5 ways junction. As well as getting the exercise and social interactions, I’ve also got one eye on leading a similar activity on the part of the NCN I’m liaison ranger for.

First part of the day was spent coppicing buddleja with Tony on the wildflower meadow; looks to me like it’s the same as pruning back hard :) Dragged the cut wood back to the hopper and snedded and cut up the wood. As the other volunteers brought bags of brambles and felled sycamore from the other work area, I trampled the material down. It’s quite disconcerting bouncing up and down on top of a pile of brambles and woody material, several feet off the ground; but also quite fun. It’s tiring too.

Finished disposing of Tony’s and my waste right at lunchtime. On balance, it’s relatively quick to cut down stuff and it takes much longer to tidy up.

After lunch I started to cut back brambles, but was asked to continue doing the waste management. Nice to be asked, and nice to be visible to the public. A lot of people came up and thanked us for the work we were doing; would have been nice to hand out some leaflets.

A bit disappointed that the waste from the day was going to Powderhall Waste Transfer Station and then into landfill. The waste looked mostly green, although I did hear that brambles don’t compost well and basically start to root again when in a compost pile. They’re obviously very successful as plants, not so nice to live next to. The idea of making habitat piles was floated, but in an urban setting, they’re more likely to get destroyed by dogs than provide a decent habitat.

Seems tony is the new tree nursery manager — would be nice to learn more about this.

Other outcomes: learned how to distinguish ash and sycamore when they don’t have leaves on.

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One thought on “Bramble trampolines and a bit of coppicing

  1. Rackham’s got some interesting stuff on coppicing. He reckons most of the work done today is more like silvicultural thinning than full-scale coppicing, and this lets brambles thrive rather than the other coppicing plants.

    Much information on the strategies of plants to use the clearings formed by coppicing: spring-leaved plants; seed banks under the soil; profligate and far-reaching seed-bearing plants etc.

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