Hazel, willow, beef and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Posts in category willow

A brush with the floor

A brush with the floor

Last August we spent a day on a training course making a hay rake and a besom broom in a lovely old wood near Hoddesden. It was a day run by the East Anglian Coppice Network which is part of the National Coppice Federation, and it was good just to spend time with people who, […]

Weaving willow in Essex

Weaving willow in Essex

I spent an enjoyable day this week, with a charming couple in Essex, building a pair of woven willow fences in their lovely garden. We had started talking about the project eight months before, in the depths of winter and whilst it took a while to sort out the details, the bulk of the delay […]

Willow fencing made in situ

Willow fencing made in situ

I like making willow fencing on site, it creates a feeling of continuity and produces a result that is more seamless than the alternative – bringing in pre-made panels. Of course making in situ isn’t always possible. Where perhaps the ground doesn’t lend itself to driven posts or where the fence needs to be set […]

The joy of wrap

The joy of wrap

We’ve spent a lot of time recently cutting hazel in Bottoms’ Corner but just before Christmas were running a wreath making workshop at Jordan’s Mill near Biggleswade and needed some willow. At the same time we’d received a few orders for Christmas presents and decorations and that meant more willow. So the clearing saw had its […]

Make your own willow basket – S...

Make your own willow basket – Sunday 17 May

Imagine a day spent in a peaceful hazel coppice, listening to the songs of melodious warblers flitting frantically amongst the trees; being brought home made cakes and cups of tea and enjoying the company of a small group of like-minded individuals, as you are driven half crazy by the frustration of trying to make a […]

Hurdles for garden design competition

Hurdles for garden design competition

I’ve nearly finished three willow hurdles that will be part of  a garden design competition that a college’s design students are entering. They  were after low impact, local materials, these should fit the bill. I hope they like them – I’m quite pleased! I think the competition is at Earls Court next month. Would be […]

Balls and how to make willow ones

Balls and how to make willow ones

We’re leading a day in the as yet undiscovered craft of making a ball from nothing but willow, on Sunday 22 March, here in Gravenhurst, Bedfordshire. We will be using willow grown on the farm to create something that’s eye catching, beautiful and unusual, but otherwise has no practical value at all. These are purely […]

Great fun at Great Fen

Great fun at Great Fen

It was great to be back at Great Fen, near Ramsey in Cambridgeshire, last weekend. We’ve done a series of training days for the wildlife Trust there and they’ve all been very enjoyable. This time, we were teaching a group of lovely people to make willow balls. The first time we had run this particular […]

Willow harvest creeps on

Willow harvest creeps on

Cutting willow isn’t something to be done in bad weather if it’s not essential; we try to avoid it anyway. It’s physically demanding and is miserable in the rain but hey, we’ve got hats!The worst of it is not being willing to take a vehicle over the ground to pick up all that’s been cut […]

Making a rabbit fence fancy

Making a rabbit fence fancy

I’ve spent a couple of days recently building a rabbit net around a Bedfordshire veg patch. I was fairly skeptical to begin with, when my client suggested building  a rabbit net that would be supported by hazel stakes and decorated with willow. However after some experimentation and discussion, we’ve developed a fence that I’m pretty […]