Monday, 7 April 2014

Wind in the Willows

Today we collected 11 willow trees for planting in the "Wetlands" in the winter paddocks.  I read an article about the Somerset Levels which mentioned that it used to be famous for its many willow trees and indeed there was a thriving industry in willow for basket making.  We have long bemoaned the fact that we have about an acre of wetlands which mainly supports a few birch trees (which are lovely) and lots of marsh grass.

Rather than try lay land drains and generally disturb the wild flora, such as marsh orchids, we thought it might be a good idea to plant some willow which will thrive in the boggy conditions.  This combined with constant cutting back of the marsh grass should make that area a really lovely and natural conservation area.

Our only concern is whether sheep or alpacas will strip the willow!!   We are currently trying to decide the best way to protect the new trees.   They will have to be staked until their roots grow strong (about two months, we were told by our friendly local nursery lady).  We should be able to start coppicing as soon as the roots have taken.

We are hoping to get them all planted tomorrow before they have time to dry out.  Photos to come!!

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