The 21st Century Coppice Conference 2006 produced the following
ACTION PLAN FOR COPPICE
Please feel free to copy and utilize this as you wish: we would be grateful for acknowledgement of the source.
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Provide Coppice Community with location of possible funding approaches; provide training for making bids and/or a clearing house to do it
Identify possible new markets/ outlets and ensure the Coppice Community is aware of them. This needs more than local co-ordination though this can be built upon with some sort of delivery centre (a 'Modern Coppice Merchant'?) Note that this complements, not replaces, the Federation/Forum idea.
Much is already known but we need to maximise what we have, by improved communication approaches, research into new markets. A national strategy could be built out of shared regional experience.
In addition to BHMAT/GWC Apprenticeships a more widely available training programme has to be accessible to practitioners at affordable cost. Some existing subcomponents e.g. marketing advice, might be useable. There also needs to be ongoing opportunity for business training, mentoring, and acquisition of national occupational standards (LANTRA)
There is a quite specific issue issue of deer management approaches being understood by, and accessible to coppice practitioners and owners, with on-going support.
4. New opportunities
Seize upon all that arise e.g. University of Cumbria; Sustainable Building Centre - Penrith ; Forest Schools; investigate all possible means of getting country-wide. Grow from existing county/local activity and use best practice from elsewhere.
1. Target Groups Information about the value and benefits of coppice needs to reach a variety of target groups
- woodland/ land owners
- policy makers;
- various groups amongst the general public - those already environmentally knowledgable; those who know nothing about coppicing; special interest groups; parallel existing groups e.g. members of the Woodland Trust, Small Woods Association, leaders of Forest Schools, those in education more widely, etc.
2. Practical Participation Give special focus to participative and practical means: e.g. Great Cumbrian Beanpole Festival (3,000 people attended the last one) Build on this but target specific markets e.g. allotment holders, gardening societies, users of garden products. Encourage policy makers and funders to attend. Look for effective locations for events and clearly identify its purposes in stimulating demand, to sell, and to communicate.
3. The Message Get across the message that coppice is
good for health; it is sustainable; brings rotation, product, and employment flexibility for those responsible for woodlands; holds a significant heritage for all of us; has sociological and cultural and health benefits; brings biodiversity and more general environmental benefits. Identify any financial benefits.
4. Publicity Communicate in every way possible and take every opportunity to utilise coppice products in doing so: signs, leaflets, talking, festivals, participation and play. Use your selling as form of communication. Put things, simply, directly and in everday language.
Identifiable financial incentives need to be brought out.
1. National 'Federation'/ 'Forum', of interested groups/organisations is needed
2. Mapping of Target Areas for coppicing - co-ordinate agencies, look at both restoration, secondary and new woodlands; include National and Community Forests.
3. Grants - there is the need for a single woodland payment similar to that available for farming - need to be able to access Woodland Improvement Grant element of the English Woodland Grant Scheme. Provides a basic return but returns better for larger certificated woods (potential for group schemes here); we should consider the need for a kitemark. We should push for conservation coppicing as well as commercial coppicing, and we need to explain that 'coppicing' is not one system. Commercial coppicing does need support, especially a focus on the period between the 1st and 3rd cut (e.g. GWC project using volunteers for 1st cut, then 2nd cut by contractor - decide on details here); could tier this according to management, get information on latest grants - noted that most grants are for sociological aims - turn these to woodland use. Maintain Cumbria Woodlands and other woodland initiatives. Need small, quickly turned round grants and to inform landowners of grants.
4. Marketing - Easier access to public e.g. via internet (look at Logpile, Ecolots as example), also coppice products website, Better access to farmers markets. Lobby Made in Cumbria for non-food local products. Look for opportunities for more collaborative marketing.
5. Affordable and seasonal housing for workers - planning policies are an issue with woodland housing (low-impact development, more flexibility e.g certain task, certain seasons - for cultural reasons. Note the impact of residential 'hope' value; and its possible value as a deer deterrent).
6. Renewable energy resource: Promotion of renewable fuels e.g. firewood market - need to use central point of contact for consumer (see Logpile), small scale has an impact, consider power generation (new Low Carbon Building Fund)
The above is available for download HERE as a *.pdf file in leaflet format
If the *.pdf link does not automatically open right click, chose 'Save link as...' and save to your hard disk before opening with Acrobat Reader (available as a free download off the Web)
CANW wishes to acknowledge the financial support of Arnside and Silverdale AONB Sustainable Development