Last week’s task over at Beckingham Marshes was to help our friends at the Willow Works Community Group in the willow garden. The willow garden is doing really well, with our cuttings taken and planted last year, now growing to over 6 feet tall and some of the larger standard willows now ready for pollarding.

Last week’s activity however, was tidying up the living willow tunnels. The two tunnels are fabulous little pieces made from living willow trees, the bendy branches are manipulated into a tunnel shape and woven together to provide the structure. As they grow, they require tidying and further weaving to maintain the tunnel shape and stop unruly growth heading skywards. So we set to work on one of the tunnels, pulling down the stray branches and securing them into the structure.

After a morning’s work, the tunnel looked brilliant and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing it in the summer when in leaf!

One other task last week was to ceremoniously install the first of the Group’s willow labels. There are several types of willow growing in the garden and the Group have had special labels made to identify each type and here is the first label, the famous weeping willow….

 

The day was followed by soup and coffee in the building – lovely!

Owned and run by our friends at Groundwork, the Old Willow Works building is an excellent asset for the area, providing a snapshot of what life was like in bygone days and of the willow weaving industry that used to thrive on the Marshes around the Trent.

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