Learning about Forest Management

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Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
I found a book called `Trees and Woodland in the British landscape` by Oliver Rackham.

Lots of interesting detail about how woods were managed.

And the difference between `wood` (small stuff) and `timber` (big stuff)

He claims that coppicing was seldom done in Ireland.

I was wondering why? I assume that the landowners knew about it. There was political distubances,of course, but the english landowners would have known too.

Or maybe the forests went in the Neolithic? (But we know from things like the Sweet track that people back then managed their woods)

Or, since peat was a common fuel, they didnt need coppiced wood, only timber plantations.

What do you know?


Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
Mid Wales
I don't think it's that simple TBH.
There is debate anyway as to whether there was coppice or not. The Viking buildings in Ireland were mainly wattle and daub so would have required coppice.
Coppice in England was mainly to feed the iron works by producing charcoal - I don't know the state of the iron industry in Ireland to know if there was such a demand.
I have read somewhere (don't know where) that Irelands woodland would have been better preserved if there was more coppicing - instead the mature woods were felled for fuel (more for industry I think rather than heating).
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