This now rare country craft is closely associated with coppicing, the oldest known system of woodland management. Every five or 10 years, clumps of trees, especially hazel, would be cut back to the roots, allowing them to regenerate.
Much of it was used by itinerant charcoal burners, who sold their product to local iron works. Charcoal remains in demand today as fuel for barbecues, but nearly all of it comes from overseas, where the cost of production is lower.
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