Distance: 6.4 km/4 miles
Time: 1hr 40mins
Start: Nelson Pit Visitor Centre
Map: OS Explorer 268
Terrain: Easy, but maybe unsuitable for dogs due to stiles. Muddy in places.
One of a series of walks from the Nelson Pit Visitor Centre. One of the main features of this walk is Poynton Coppice. This is classed as an ancient semi-natural wood because although it has a history of felling it has never been ploughed or used other than as woodland.
In 1847, 44 acres of the Coppice were planted with trees by Lord Vernon to provide timber for the mines, and some for sale. Plans to bring a canal through the Coppice for carrying coal were proposed in 1795 but abandoned because of the high cost of construction.
During the 1925-6 coal strike the Coppice was felled. Subsequently Alder trees were periodically coppiced to provide materials for the local clog making industry. The majority of The Coppice is now owned by Cheshire East Council and is subject to a 10 year management plan.
Selective coppicing enhances the wildlife value of woodland by providing a gradually changing mosaic of structurally diverse vegetation. It benefits many wildlife species, allowing light to get to the woodland floor and greatly increasing the diversity of the layer of vegetation beneath the main canopy of trees.
Adjacent to the entrance of the Coppice from the Middlewood Way is a signpost, ‘Woodland Walk’. This is a delightful walk and well worth a detour or separate visit.
Full Address: Nelson Pit Visitor Centre , Higher Poynton , Macclesfield , Cheshire , SK12 1TH