Stansted Park stands within c1800 acres (728ha) of ancient woodland, first occupied in Roman times. For hundreds of years sweet chestnut has been traditionally coppiced here.
The areas to be worked are cut in the winter. In spring new shoots appear and grow vigorously. Across the forest, a patchwork of different ages of coppice creates a subtly changing landscape. Wood anemone and primrose bloom in profusion on newly cut areas and foxgloves appear in years two and three. Butterflies and other insects thrive in newly created glades and birds find nest sites as the re-growth makes thickets.
The Estate cuts 8-10 acres of coppice annually to sustain the ancient coppice system. The installation of a bio-fuel heating system for the mansion and ancillary buildings, using woodchips as a renewable fuel source, now gives Stansted House and Walled Gardens a zero-carbon energy footprint.
There are many footpaths and bridleway across the Estate, including the Sussex Border Path. Stansted Park has entered into Environmental Stewardship to benefit wildlife and to maintain and restore the historic parkland and pastureland.
This article is provided courtesy of Stansted Foundation who retains the copyright.