The first ever National Beanpole Week is launched today and will celebrate native coppiced woodland and the ancient tradition of coppicing, has been organised by the Telford-based Small Woods Association.
Judy Walker, executive director of the Small Woods Association, said coppiced wood had been used in Britain for thousands of years, but the influx of cheap bamboo beanpoles had resulted in a drastic decline in our woodland.
Between 1905 and 1997, the amount of managed coppiced woodland in Britain fell by about 230,000 hectares to an estimated 23,000 hectares.
Most hardwood trees can be coppiced -if you cut them down to just above ground level the stump will sprout several shoots.
Willow,of course, is also used for basket making and would be coppiced annually,but usually trees are coppiced every 10 to 12 years.
After touring the estate to inspect the coppiced
woodland at first hand, observe the crafts people at work, and, some of the new entrants at their computers in the FileNET education centre, the Prince unveiled a plaque to commemorate the event.
Trees and shrubs that are cut down in this way can produce shoots that grow over 30cm in a week and a coppiced
tree can live many times longer than if the tree had not been cut down at all.