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International Expo Brings in the Orders for Coppice Carftsmen

The benefits of joint marketing were fully realised when around ten small companies, all involved in the green wood industry, came together under one umbrella at the UKs biggest trade exhibition for the gardens and leisure industry recently.

Coppice craftsmen from all over the country were displaying their handcrafted products and demonstrating their skills on the Wessex Coppice Group stand at GLEE, the annual Garden and Leisure Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham which attracts trade buyers from all over the world.

The stand was co-ordinated by the Winchester- based Wessex Coppice Group, a marketing organisation which was launched in Hampshire by Sir David Attenborough in 1994 specifically to boost the hazel coppice industry. Since then it has spread to offer its services nation wide, and has exhibited at GLEE twice previously. This year, the joint involvement of Anglia Woodnet, a similar organisation for the greenwood industry in East Anglia, meant a much larger display area could be secured.

Linda Glynn, Business Development Manager for the Wessex Coppice Group, said that although general attendance at the exhibition seemed to be down slightly, the quality of buyer was very high.

"The majority of companies on the stand took some very good orders both nationally and for export, particularly to the United States," she said. "It was a real endorsement of the benefits of taking a positive approach in bringing products into the market place. We had a lot of praise for having such an interesting stand, which attracted large numbers of people who were fascinated by the display of skills."

The Wessex Coppice Group maintains a database of around 500 coppice craftsmen, and can put people in touch with a local source of coppice products. Linda can be contacted on tel: +44(0)1962 772030 or E-mail: linda.glynn@coppice.org.uk