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Coppicing, KM and the future king

An ancient craft, e-business technology and Prince Charles are an unlikely trinity, but that’s the gist of a recent press release from FileNet.

FileNet has offered IT training to a U.K. group that is trying to preserve the art of coppicing, a craft that involves creating furniture and other products from the stems of living tree stumps. The company will teach the technology skills needed to market and distribute the handcrafted products worldwide over the Internet.

According to the news release, Britain’s Prince Charles has congratulated FileNet for “so readily offering its help to train the craftsmen in computer skills.”

Prince Charles is quoted as saying, “In a world in which marketing is becoming ever more important, some element of business training is essential for anyone to succeed. Wood craftsmen can all too easily get left behind.”

Coppicing is an ancient craft in which broadleaf greenwood trees, such as hazel, are trimmed to the stump to encourage growth of stems or poles. The poles are then used to make products such as hurdles, furniture and thatching spars. Woven hazel screens made using coppicing methods have been dated back to 5000 B.C.

FileNet is working with the Wessex Coppice Group to offer training to students in its U.K. Greenwood New Entrants Training Program.

On the Wessex Coppice Group Web site, Linda Glynn, business development manager, says, “Already coppice craftsmen are catching on to the fact that e-business is the way forward and taking advantage of the opportunities being presented to them to market themselves via the Internet.

FileNet’s European Education Centre is located in the county of Hampshire, England, the heart of the U.K. greenwood industry.

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