Coppice trees

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    not assessed
  • Certainty
    not assessed
  • Harms
    not assessed

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of coppicing trees on reptile populations. This study was in the UK.



  • Abundance (1 study): One replicated, site comparison study in the UK found that no slow worms or common lizards were found in coppiced areas of woodland, whereas they were found in open areas maintained by vegetation cutting.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, site comparison study (year not provided) in two sites of temperate broadleaf woodland on the border of Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire, UK (Fish 2015) found that in coppiced areas of a woodland no slow worms Anguis fragilis or common lizards Zootoca vivipara were found, whereas both species were found in open areas maintained by cutting. No slow worms or common lizards were found in either recently coppiced sites (2–6 years previously) or older coppiced sites (9–17 years old), whereas 41 common lizards and 102 slow worms were found in open areas maintained by cutting. In each of two areas of woodland, three sites of recently coppiced woodland (2–6 years old), three sites of older coppice (9–17 years old) and three open areas were selected (one of the open areas was selected two weeks after surveys began). All coppiced areas were dominated by small-leaved lime trees Tilia cordata. At each survey site, 20 coverboards (50 x 50 cm; 10 made of roofing felt, 10 made of corrugated bitumen) were arranged in a grid, with 5 m gaps between boards. Coverboards were left for one week, and then checked for reptiles on 3–6 days/week for eight weeks.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Sainsbury K.A., Morgan W.H., Watson M., Rotem G., Bouskila A., Smith R.K. & Sutherland W.J. (2021) Reptile Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for reptiles. Conservation Evidence Series Synopsis. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Reptile Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Reptile Conservation
Reptile Conservation

Reptile Conservation - Published 2021

Reptile synopsis

What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust