23 October 2023A Weekend on Lindisfarne
17 August 2023
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I am delighted to report that willow cutting operations at the new plot at Chester Hope were completed for the 2020/2021 season yesterday. Work did not start in earnest until early January, and it is quite an achievement to have completed the harvesting in such a short time. Siobhan and I carried out the cutting, and Charlotte has been sorting many of the unsorted bundles at home. With this arrangement, it was easy to minimise any risks from Covid.
It is a pleasure to work at this isolated location, with its open sunny aspect and views of Simonside to the south. The site differs markedly from Whitton and Whittondean there are no public rights of way nearby, and it is rare to see anyone. It is easy, therefore, to observe the abundant local wildlife. Attached is a panorama of the cleared plot taken as we left the site. It does look refreshing to see it clear again!
Immediate plans are to fit wind attenuation netting to the boundary fence to the west and south. At the western windward side of the plot, additional planting of a fast-growing willow called Endurance is in hand. Hopefully, this work will minimise branching of the willow rods in future growing seasons. Cutting the woven mulch around the willow stools before growth starts will eliminate ring barking of the stools.
Bundles of willow from the harvesting are now available for collection. If you wish to make a purchase, please contact me when Covid restrictions allow for travel again.