- It reduces greenhouse gas emissions: Although burning wood produces carbon dioxide, trees absorb carbon dioxide while they are growing, so wood is almost ‘carbon neutral’. Using woodfuel instead of oil, gas or electricity can thus help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Coppiced trees increase in volume with each rotation, storing more carbon, providing more renewable energy.
- It is good for wildlife: Felling and coppicing replaces a shady habitat with a more open habitat. This allows plants and animals to thrive that would otherwise be shaded out. Spring flowers like anemones, bluebells and violets come up for the first few years after coppicing, when much more sunlight reaches the ground. Butterflies and moths that depend on these plants have declined over time because of lack of woodland management, and increase after coppicing. Birds that thrive in scrub, like pipits and warblers, also benefit from coppicing and felling.
- It is historical: We have used wood for fuel throughout our history. Coppicing maintains a historic landscape and preserves an ancient art of woodland management.
- It is healthy: Working with trees promotes physical fitness and mental health, and can be sociable and socially inclusive.
- It is good for the wallet: Woodland management supplies renewable energy for domestic and community heating, reducing dependency on imported, increasingly expensive fossil fuels.
- It is good for the local economy: The supply of woodfuel provides opportunities for local land-based forestry and farming businesses to diversity.
- It is good for other countries: Using local forest products reduces the pressure on other countries’ forest resources, some of which may be logged unsustainably or illegally. Using locally sourced wood also lowers carbon emissions from transport.
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