An ancient method of woodland management used to grow straight timber poles for wood and fodder. By cutting the trees to within 300 mm (12”) near ground level and re-coppicing on a cyclical regime thereafter.
Coppicing is still undertaken these days but for different reasons.
Woodland coppicing is often carried out to thin a dense wooded area, allowing greater light to penetrate the understory below. This in effect increases the biodiversity of the area. New species can grow and thrive with the increased light, these newer species encourage animals and insects to use them as a food source, which in turn are themselves a food source for other mammals, bats, and birds, creating a new and diverse ecosystem.
Large hardy older shrubs and hedging plants such as Beech, Hazel, Hornbeam and Yew, can be coppiced encouraging new stems to grow and a new crown to rejuvenate.
Or just shrubs and trees that have simply outgrown their space.