TRADITIONAL woodlands management techniques are bringing new life to Park Wood in West Malvern.

Dormice, bluebells, and spotted flycatchers will all benefit from the coppicing on the western slopes of the Malvern Hills.

Woodsman Phil Hopkinson has started this year’s winter work to traditionally manage hazel within the woodland, in partnership with the Malvern Hills Trust.

Andy Pearce, the trust's conservation officer, said ‘Coppicing is the practice of cutting of trees or shrubs at ground level to stimulate new growth.

"Creating a mosaic of different age and size hazel plants is essential for the dormouse, a protected species.’

Numbers of dormice in the UK are in decline and these creatures are becoming increasingly rare following changes in woodland management.

The Trust’s traditional management will support the local dormouse population by conserving their habitat.

Mr Pearce said: "By cutting the hazel, we allow light to reach the woodland floor, which encourages woodland flowers such as bluebells to grow, and also brambles which produce blackberries, an important food source for the dormouse.’


inRead invented by Teads

Mr Hopkinson said "The hazel within Park Wood is cut on an eight-year rotation and the material produced used for a variety of traditional products, including hedging stakes and binders for hedge laying, and bean poles and pea sticks for the garden.

"This low impact traditional method of woodland managing woodlands provides a mosaic of diverse and valuable wildlife habitats as it allows light into the woodland which in turn allows the woodland flowers and fauna to flourish.’

Some areas of Park Wood are not actively managed. These denser woodland stands provide a different habitat for bats and rare flora such as the violet helleborine.

Rides within the woodland are also kept open to provide sunny and warm areas for butterflies and reptiles.

Materials from Park Wood and other woodlands can be purchased at

(Originally reported in the Droitwich Advertiser)