Coppicing: a sustainable forestry system.The raw materials used for the lovely ash knobsticks we sell are produced by using a centuries-old "coppice-with-standards" forestry system.
Beneath an upper canopy of maturing timber trees, smaller ash trees are grown to around 10 cm in diameter. They are then cut at a height of approximately 120 cm. Each plant produces new shoots, which are just above the nibbling height of the abundant roe deer.
The stump, also known as the coppice stool, is then allowed to regrow and several stems grow out of the one stump.
Over three to four years, these shoots grow to the correct height and diameter to form raw material for walking sticks. A similar procedure is followed for other woods, such as blackthorn and hazel.
Often part of the original tree is cut with the stick; turned the other way up, this becomes the handle for a knobstick. Straight sections of wood become hiking poles, and those with a natural "V" in the wood become thumbsticks.
The cutting stage is always done in the minter when the sap content is low.