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Short rotation coppice
What is short rotation coppice (SRC)?
Some fast growing tree species can be cut down to a low stump (or stool) when they are dormant in winter and go on to produce many new stems in the following growing season.  This practice is well established in the UK and Europe, having been a traditional method of woodland management over several hundred years for a variety of purposes including charcoal, fencing and shipbuilding.
Suitable species
A number of different species are suitable for coppicing, with different optimum cycle periods.

In the UK many different species have been coppiced in the past, however the principal species currently used for SRC for biomass for energy are:

Poplar
Willow
With the new round of the Energy Crops Scheme a number of new broadleaf species have been added to the supported list, and a new guidance Practice Note is available below.
Grants

In England, the new Energy Crops Scheme (ECS) provided grants to help establish short rotation coppice and miscanthus. This new scheme falls under the new Rural Development Programme, which will run from 2007 to 2013, and the European Commission's implementing regulations now allow support for miscanthus.

This new scheme opened to new applications on 1st October 2007.

Short Rotation Coppice may recieve grant support in Scotland via the Forestry Commission's Scottish Forestry Grants Scheme. This scheme is currently under review.
Scottish Forestry Grant Scheme Review
For further information
Yield models for energy coppice of poplar and willow
Information on many aspects of SRC for growers, researchers and the bio-energy industry (Forest Research)
Establishment and Management of Broadleaved Coppice Plantations for EnergyEstablishment and Management of Broadleaved Coppice Plantations for Energy
Guidance from the Forestry Commission on establishing and managing a number of traditional broadleaf species as coppice (PDF - 100 kB)
New draft: Growing Short Rotation Coppice (advanced draft Autumn 2008)New draft: Growing Short Rotation Coppice (advanced draft Autumn 2008)
An advanced draft of the new Defra guidance on growing short rotation coppice for applicants to the Energy Crops Scheme (PDF - 163 KB)
NNFCC Crop Factsheet: Short Rotation Coppice Willow (SRC)NNFCC Crop Factsheet: Short Rotation Coppice Willow (SRC)
Information from the National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC) on growing, harvesting and storing short rotation coppice willow (SRC) in the UK and its uses as a non-food crop (PDF - 110 kB)

Other short rotation energy cropsOther short rotation energy crops

Fuel chips produced by a SRC harvester
Defra energy crops opportunity maps
Including existing energy crops locations.
(N.B. Now on the archived Defra website)