Centuries of Woodland Management

For centuries this wood has been subjected to coppice management, in which few large trees are allowed to develop and the under-storey is cut every few years in a rotating cycle of sections, producing a crop of long, thin poles with numerous uses. This practice allows much more sunlight to reach the woodland floor than would be normal - compare the coppiced area of the wood with the area of high trees at the north end.

An ancient hazel coppice stool, 3.3mt girth

When subjected to coppicing over a long period of time woodlands take on a particular character, with a greater diversity of ground flora than would be found in other woodlands. In Mortimores Wood, surveys have identified over 70 species of ground flora, a very high level of diversity, in the coppiced area. A number of these species, along with several species of tree, are associated only with ancient woodland and are known as indicator species. The proportion of these within the wood is one of the factors that influenced its designations as a County Wildlife Site and, in 2007, Local Nature Reserve.