Brian Raines lives and operates in the tiny hamlet of Michelmersh, near Romsey in Hampshire and is a regular coppice staff and following spending several hours in his business travelling the 50 odd miles he part owns and portion controls I determined he was totally nuts and, like several who hold out this ancient artwork, a wizard in his fiskars 15 inch powergear super pruner/lopper.
Brian, an ex Royal Maritime, re-mortgaged his home in order to purchase 28 miles of spend countryside and then change it into an ancient woodland haven full of wildlife and old and disappearing crafts. I, like many more, often take pleasure in the delights of Hampshire’s New Forest, but did not appreciate that this region can be element of an historic old forest. I’ll allow Brian explain.
“Hampshire is one of the very most wooded areas in Britain, however whilst much attention is compensated to the New Forest, Hampshire’s far more ancient forest moves overlooked.” He explained.
“Extending from the Wiltshire Edge in the west, across to Sussex in the east, the Old Forest was the shopping ground of the old Saxon Kings who when ruled Britain from Winchester. Hampshire’s Previous Forest, although mainly neglected, comprises of a dense patchwork of ancient hazel and bluebell woodland which stretches over the hub of our state, providing habitat for herds of fallow and roe deer and other forest dwellers including a few wild boar. Somewhat that forest to this day remains key to Britain’s coppice industry.”
Brian explained that the crazy boar are known to coppicers as’sounders’because they are seldom seen but tend to be heard. Even as we stepped around his land of meadow, wood and lakes Brian told me the connection involving the fruits of character and many pagan festivals and practices which are however reflected in the current Christian traditions. The use of fresh fruit and berries, as well as these previous traditions, are too standard inside their manner to be produced in a family group function but all were amazing and his understanding of the rituals was an amazing understanding in to life and values of old. For instance he told of the use and the symbolism of the holly, with its inflammation and the bright mistletoe berries but neither are repeatable here.
“The coppice industry is perhaps Britain’s many historical job and appointments back many tens of thousands of years, to ahead of the structure of Stonehenge.” Brian continued. “Coppicing involves the reducing of trees, including the brown, to supply a crop of supports and posts used to produce hurdles as well as spars for the thatching trade. Other products and services contain stakes and binders employed by traditional hedge levels, faggots used by river keepers to avoid erosion along riverbanks and product for wattle fencing. Brown can be a good supply of lumber and can be utilized to create charcoal.”
Brian continued to explain that the region about Kings Somborne, just a few miles from his small keeping, boasts more miles of coppice hazel woodland than anywhere else in the country and is house to numerous coppice woodsmen and hurdle manufacturers who function a solitary lifestyle in the depths of the underwood.
“Coppicing is an environmentally friendly and sustainable way of woodland administration in that once the coppiced stool is reduce to the bottom it rapidly sends up shoots which develop into straight rods, which are harvested every eight decades or so.”
“The brown coppice industry grew up with the need for hurdles needed by shepherds up on the Hampshire downs and out onto the treeless expanse of Salisbury Plain. Though nowadays the lamb industry is in high decrease, it is very important to remember that British wool was extremely prized by the Romans and that in the Center Ages it was the profit from wool that financed the structure of our good cathedrals. Also the Regal Navy features a woolly connection, in so it came about to safeguard wool exports to Europe, likewise the Chancellor of the Exchequer to this day rests at the House of Commons on the Woolsack, which symbolises the nation’s wealth. Paradoxically it absolutely was lamb that started the commercial revolution when water power was initially applied to mechanise the spinning wheel.”
“The ultimate drop of the wool business also found a collapse in the brown coppice market and considering that the First Earth War many woodlands have been forgotten and left to grow wild.”
“Today, Coppice woodland administration is of specific benefit to wildlife providing natural habitat for rare woodland butterfly, chickens including the nightingale and creatures like the dormouse.” When he got planning it was difficult to match Brian and the data he was moving on about something he’d esteemed since early childhood. “Allowing gentle onto the woodland floor also stops woodland flowers from becoming shaded out. In that respect, in cycled coppiced woods, the woodland ground is awash in spring with a heavy and rich ocean of snowdrops, daffodils, primroses, timber anemone, red campion and bluebells. Coppicing is mainly a cold temperatures task, in that brown is best reduce when sap is no more climbing and when woods have missing their leaves. The work is physically challenging and a certain method of maintaining fit. Employed in the underwood is just a solitary search and an isolated existence that is never to everybody’s liking. In this regard the coppice woodsman spends his time with the robin and the wren, returning home at dusk, once the woodcock requires to the wing.”