Willow weaving is one of the oldest crafts that has greatly disappeared from the UK with just around 200 professionals known!
Newly completed in 2019 is the willow bed onThroop Island (adjacent to Throop Mill).
The project will help increase the biodiversity of this site which was previously left 'fallow' (no crops or recent livestock use) and now encompasses a wet woodland, willow bed and water meadow plants and the accompanying animals - such as barn owl, several butterfly species and pollinators.
This area is prone to flooding in the winter months so is ideal for these plants. The additional willows, along with 1000 tree whips planted back in 2016, will provide more food sources and shelter to the local wildlife that already resides in the area, and may encourage more birds and pollinators in the future.The sheeting is temporary and will be removed once the whips are established.
Our willow weaving sessions have proved so popular that this project will allow us to be self-sufficient, planting and harvesting our own ‘crop’ of willow - allowing it to regrow inbetween years.
As a dying art, we are pleased to be able to pass on the learned skills of willow weaving to the public through these events and to keep the skill alive.