Froe Wood is over fifteen acres of Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland, part of Ley Park in Blaisdon, Gloucestershire. Froe Wood is being brought back into active management with the aim of creating a woodland where coppice, timber, and woodland products can be sustainably harvested in a way that enhances the natural habitats and flora, fauna and fungi.
Froe Wood is dominated by over 150 oak standards which form a high canopy over an understorey of hazel, lime, yew and holly. This understorey is gradually being brought back into a coppice rotation, producing a variety of sustainable coppice products when each coup is harvested every five to seven years, as well as firewood and timber from thinning of the canopy. Alongside the oaks we have mature cherry, birch and ash, as well as small-leaved lime, field maple and wild service tree, and some Douglas Fir.
A cyclical coppice rotation allows sunlight to reach the woodland floor, increasing ground flora and biodiversity and giving a wide variety of ecological benefits. Over 160 species of flora have been identified in Froe Wood, alongside numerous mosses and lichens, fungi and fauna.
There is a saying that ‘the wood that pays, is the wood that stays’, but at Froe Wood we believe that there is a greater value beyond pure commercial return, and that sustainable management, often incorporating traditional techniques, can exist in tandem with good conservation and be mutually beneficial for nature and woodsman.