The older and larger trees in managed woodlands, the standards, have a distinct trunk extending upwards for around five metres before branching out and forming a canopy up to ten metres in diameter. Standards should not exceed fifteen trees per hectare of woodland if their canopies are not to meet, thus allowing sunlight through to reach the woodland floor.
In response to the increased light reaching the woodland floor in a coupe of coppice-with-standards, Spring brings a flowering of woodland herbs including Wood Anemones and Cow-wheat. During the first summer after coppicing, old and well-established stools will produce poles up to four metres in length and 2-4 cm in diameter, whilst newer stools will produce shorter and thinner poles. Hazel tends to produce thinner poles than either Hornbeam or Chestnut.
During the following two to four years, the poles grow and thicken and the ground cover becomes more varied. This habitat provides an ideal home for butterflies, such as the Heath Fritillary, as the larvae feed on the Cow-wheat. Nightingales nest in the dense undergrowth and Dormice are attracted by the prospect of coppice growth to eat, particularly Hazel. Wood Ants move into the coppice edge where the open area helps to warm up the nest.
After ten years or so, as the coppice grows older, the canopy of branches closes at around 10 to 15 metres, shutting out the sunlight at ground level during the summer months. As a result, the number of flowering plants on the woodland floor grows less, leaving only the Bluebells and Wood Anemones which flower in Spring before the leaf canopy closes on those plants that do not need the bright sunlight to survive.
How long this last situation remains depends on the management of each particular wood and the introduction of one of a number of different coppice cycles.
Rides and glades often provide the only open spaces in a woodland that has not been recently coppiced, and these attract different flora and fauna (plants and animals) to those found within the woodland itself. A large number of butterflies will only breed in these open areas, which provide the sun and warmth that they need. The edges of the woodland provide the ideal habitat for a number of birds including Nightingales, Warblers and Chiffchaffs; whilst Sparrowhawks and Bats will often use the rides for hunting.