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Willow Woodchips

Monday, March 16th 2020

Staff and volunteers have been continuing the pollarding of Willow in some of the net rides around the reserve. Pollarding is an ancient form of tree management. Trees used to be grown within grazed pastures and the tree’s crown was regularly cut at around eight feet high, well above the browsing height of the stock below. This allowed the land to be used for both grazing animals and to provide useful material from the trees. The wood was used to make hurdles, fences and baskets. 

This technique creates a huge amount of brash which isn't as useful today as it was in ancient times! It had to be dragged from the net ride to the main car park.

The Willow branches were then put through a woodchipper to make woodchips that will be used to top up some of the footpaths through the woodland.

Thank you to everyone who has helped with this over the past few weeks in all weathers, it was a refreshing change today to be working in sunshine rather than rain!

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