Archive for August, 2011

Willow Tunnel

After our recent willow dome training in Croxteth park we decided to use some of the techniques on our own willow tunnel project. As the saying goes it was a day of two halves. The morning session was lashed with heavy showers as we coppiced some willow from Maypole wood and removed some of the ragwort along some of the paths. We have discovered that At least 30 insect species are entirely reliant on Ragwort and about a third of them are scare or rare. Ragwort is also a critically important nectar and pollen source for hundreds of species of butterflies, bees, moths, beetles and flies, helping to maintain what remains of our much declined wildlife. So we will not be aiming for total removal in the future (more info at http://www.buglife.org.uk/conservation/currentprojects/Habitats+Action/Ragwort/ragwortyellowperilorpreciousflower.htm ).

willow tunnel

The first section of our Willow tunnel

The afternoon brought heat and hot sun as we started the hot work of clearing the area of weeds and nettles, before starting on the framework of the first section of the tunnel. We then wove the original rooted willow into this. By 3 o’clock we had learned quite a bit, such as how hard the ground is, and how much more willow will be needed to complete the original planned length. Hopefully our trial of this method will speed up the process.