Heritage Crafts

Coppice working

The management of woodland such that young tree stems are repeatedly cut down to near ground level to produce long straight shoots for harvesting, and the making of products using these shoots. Many of the coppice crafts have separate entries.
Currently viable
Craft category
Historic area of significance
South East; South West; Cumbria (see ‘Other information’ for further details)
Area practiced currently
UK (see ‘Other information’ for further details)
Origin in the UK
Current No. of professionals (Main income)
201-500 (coppice workers who make a proportion or all of their income from working coppice woodlands)
Current No. of professionals (Side income)
Proportion of the above
Current No. of trainees
Minimum No. of craftspeople required


‘Coppice crafts’ is a broad term to describe the making of a wide variety of products including: pea sticks, hurdles, barrel hoops, clothes pegs, tent pegs, rakes, handles, spars, scythe snaiths, furniture and charcoal. Historically some craftsmen would have specialised in particular products, while others would have made a range of products. Today, coppice workers and woodsmen tend to make a range of items.


Issues affecting the viability

  • Cheap imports of coppice crafts.
  • A shortage of in-rotation coppice – and there are high costs involved in restoring coppice.

Support organisations

Craftspeople currently known

Other information

Historic area of significance: The heartlands are now Kent where the chestnut industry is still viable, Southern counties such as Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset where the hazel industry was associated with historic sheep industry. However most counties have some connection with a coppice history Cumbria being another that has a remnant industry today.

Current area: The National Coppice Federation has coppice groups affiliated from most areas of England and some in Wales. There are fewer in Scotland but there is some coppice.

Several organisations run coppiceworking apprenticeships, such as the Bill Hogarth Memorial Trust and the Small Woods Association.


  • Jenkins, J Geraint, (1978) Traditional Country Craftsmen (Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd)
  • Tabor, Raymond, (1994) Traditional Woodland Crafts: A Practical Guide (B T Bastford Ltd)
  • Edlin, Herbert L, (1973) Woodland Crafts in Britain (David and Charles)
  • Oaks and Mills (2010) Coppicing and Coppice Crafts – a comprehensive guide 
National Lottery Heritage Fund
Swire Charitable Trust
The Royal Mint
Pilgrim Trust
Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation
William Grant Foundation

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