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by the EU Framework
Programme Horizon 2020

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     (European Cooperation
     in Science and Technology)
     is a pan-European inter-
     governmental framework.

     Its mission is to enable
     break-through scientific and
     technological developments
     leading to new concepts and
     products and thereby contribute
     to strengthening Europe’s
     research and innovation

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About - EuroCoppice


Link to the Summary Assessment of Progress Month 1 - 30 by an external Rapporteur

Coppicing is a very traditional way of forest management. Throughout Europe, coppice forests vary not only in their species composition, but also in their structure and management reflecting the regional site and climate conditions as well as the requirements and multiple needs of the society: This was in many cases energy (fire wood), to be used in households, craftsmen-shop and emerging industries. Construction material, poles for fences as well as for vineyards and fruit orchards were an alternative use of coppice trees which showed better shape, dimensions, strength and durability. Extraction of tannin from the bark of oak and castania species was widely used.

Other non-wood products from coppice like mushrooms and honey were also important in many cases. Especially in steep terrain and high elevations a close co-existence between farming and coppice forests was a common concept which allows temporary growing of grain as well as silvo-pastoral systems for pigs, cattle, sheep and goats. Providing a favourable biotope for any kind of game, hunting was another important utilization of coppice forests. With growing population and emerging industries, the pressure on forests became serious. High forests were mostly under the control of noble families or rulers. Consequently ordinary people were excluded from any intensive use in many cases. In contrast the coppice forests were governed following more “democratic” principles giving every family a fair share of the goods and services from the coppice forests. In many areas special coppice forest governance regimes developed with time, often following the concept of commons.


With increase in use of non-renewable raw materials, the coppice lost importance and was neglected or converted. Only recently coppice has been re-discovered because of its adaptive ecology, its stability and multiple benefits, notably its protection function, contribution to biodiversity and as a source of renewable bioenergy. Traditional coppice management is often combined with special ownership and user rights regimes (e.g. commons) and this governance regime may be also an interesting alternative for small scale forestry and/or “modern” short rotation coppice (SRC) which is established on former agriculture land.


Aims of EuroCoppice


COST Action FP 1301 aimed to bring together European scientists, experts and young scholars to exchange knowledge about coppice forestry and to start developing innovative management and utilization concepts/techniques for future modern multifunctional coppice management systems. Especially female and Early Stage Researcher (PhD + 8 years) were supported in EuroCoppice. The aims were:

  • Capacity building and networking to increase the significance and quality of CFM-related research and development and dissemination. In this context European institutions with special knowledge, capacity and willingness to engage in coppice forestry related research will be identified and listed.
  • EuroCoppice will analyse existing national and regional coppice related silviculture practices and based on this analysis identify knowledge gaps where further research and development should be directed to.
  • EuroCoppice will inform and exchange knowledge about existing and innovative coppice forest harvesting systems to overcome coppice forest related utilization restrictions (lack of technology, low productivity, steep terrain, small parcels). Case studies as best practice examples will be identified in participating COST-countries and documented as best practice guidelines.
  • EuroCoppice will bring together regional and national knowledge about protective functions of coppice forests and compile the respective official regulations. This includes the role of coppice forests in the NATURA 2000/ FFH-context. In this context knowledge gaps will be identified and proposals for national and European R&D will be elaborated. The results will enable regional authorities to implement European regulations with higher efficiency, minimizing negative (e. g. economic) side-effects.
  • EuroCoppice will collect, evaluate and exchange regionally existing governance concepts, focused on history, legal framework, ownership and user rights. The results may also inspire small landowners and rural communities to meet the challenge of fragmented small-scale forest ownership.
  • EuroCoppice will explore different concepts of forest/farming interaction based on CFM and evaluate them in terms of feasibility, economy and sustainability.
  • EuroCoppice will represent a platform for networking and interactive cooperation of institutions and individuals for all coppice-related issues. It will also serve as an exchange platform for interaction and cooperation between modern short rotation energy coppice forests (SRC) and traditional CFM.
  • EuroCoppice will develop a set of communication tools to encourage and support the cooperation which is needed to reach the objectives 1-10 and to facilitate the dissemination of the results. A EuroCoppice website will be set up and EuroCoppice will promote the establishment of an international working group on coppice forests hosted by IUFRO (International Union of Forestry Research Organizations).
  • EuroCoppice will formulate a Coppice Policy Paper as a basis for further coppice related activities and actions on a European level.

Memorandum of Understanding
Poster overview EuroCoppice

Pictures: Suchomel, 2010

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