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Nene Coppicing and Crafts is a community group run by volunteers based to the west of Peterborough.
We are dedicated to promoting heritage woodland management skills, woodland conservation and traditional crafts.

We were first set up in 2013 through a lottery-funded project run by the independent charity, the Peterborough Environment City Trust. We are now an independent, thriving woodland management and woodland crafts Volunteer Community Group, working across 3 sites in the Peterborough area.

Our main aims are

  • To promote the conservation, protection and improvement of the woodland areas of Peterborough and surrounding areas.

  • To educate the public through teaching woodland management skills and heritage woodland skills and crafts.

  • To enable people to enjoy nature and woodlands for their wellbeing.

  • To generate income for the group from its activities and sales to support those aims.

We work in the woodland of the National Nature Reserve at Castor Hanglands in conjunction with Natural England, in the ancient woodland in Bretton, liaising with Peterborough City Council and at Sacrewell Farm near Wansford where we focus on our craftwork and heritage skills.

At Castor Hanglands we are re-instating a traditional hazel coppice rotation system for the production of woodland products, made from hazel, for sale. The re-introduction of the rotation will also improve the bio-diversity of the area. We also produce charcoal from our kilns for sale.

At Bretton we have a group working in Grimeshaw wood, Pocock’s Wood and Highlees Spinney who focus on woodland management and nature conservation in woods owned by Peterborough City Council.

At Sacrewell Farm, run by the William Scott Abbot trust we now have a small workshop in one of the farm’s outbuildings and a willow bed. We have agreed to demonstrate willow work and greenwood crafts on a regular basis (in practice this is most weekends) as well as attending events and providing courses in heritage crafts.

See the separate sections on each site for further information.

As well as running courses and workshops to share our knowledge of woodland crafts we also attend events such as the Peterborough Heritage Festival and Peterborough Wildlife Festival. Here we can share with local residents our knowledge about woodland management and coppicing and its potential to improve biodiversity, as well as giving people the opportunity to have a go at

heritage crafts. We are often also present at various Countryside and Country crafts shows such as Sandringham and Burghley.

We make and sell products made from the wood from our sites, including willow basket work, items of greenwood furniture and our high-quality charcoal from our kilns. The proceeds from these sales are returned to the group to fund our activities and pay for equipment, skills training etc.

We actively encourage others to join us.  We have a core group of volunteers and lots of visitors from all ages and backgrounds.  We are always keen to learn more ourselves and are more than happy to share what we have learned. We have regular meetings during the week as well as other events. 

We are affiliated to national organisations such as the Small Woods Association and work closely with other local groups such as PECT.

If you are interested in joining us please contact us at giving a contact number. We will then call you to discuss a taster day.

We look forward to meeting you and working with you in the future.

Best wishes     

Nene Coppicing and Crafts

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