Saturday 10 December 2011

more living willow projects

The week we were working in the south of the country so managed to avoid all of the bad weather that our home county of Cumbria suffered.
we worked at Graveley Primary School near Stevenage for one day. the weather was sunny but cold and very windy. the children helped to create a large living willow dome and had great fun making the planting holes and selecting the willow. we stayed in a nice Travelodge nearby.

on thursday we started work at Tyssen Community Primary School in Hackney, London. we first met the school when a class came to the Countryside Live event in Lea Valley Park. the site was in the nursery garden in a tight space so we designed a lovely small dome with tunnels to fit in with the existing layout of the garden. the ground was bone hard and required a hammer and bar to make planting holes.  the children got involved by helping to plant the willow rods. because of the hard dry ground the children will have great fun watering in the newly planted play structure.
simone made stars for each child as christmas presents.

Friday 2 December 2011

Willow Maze Project, South Bank Primary School, Middlesbrough

we spent 4 days in Middlesbrough building a willow maze with the children of the school. the school wanted an area that would be fun for the kids to play in and also would provide a sheltered and relaxing space for outdoor lessons. the school field is big with no shelter from the wind and the sea is pretty close so it can be very cold and draughty. we were lucky and didn't have any rain but the wind was very strong.

the design we came up with was a large dome with an encircling willow tunnel to provide quiet internal area. we made a lot of entrances and exits so that it would be fun to play in. all of the kids loved the design.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

willow project ulverston

we are building a willow play area at croftlands junior school

Monday 21 November 2011

Hothersall Lodge Outdoors Centre, nr Preston

We worked with children from a local primary school to make a large willow den at Hothersall The weather was unseasonally warm and the children were able to use the centre's new climbing wall as well as help to weave a willow structure. a great time was had by all.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

First Living Willow Project of the season, Dent C of E Primary

Today we finished our first living willow project of the 2011/12 season. We worked with the children of Dent C of E Primary School to create a Living Willow Dome and Tunnel, known as a Twigloo! Luckily the weather was kind to us so there was no rain and the ground was soft but not muddy. We worked with all of the children in the school (there are under 40 children in total) in rotation to dig and plant and then weave the structure. Great fun was had by all!

Monday 26 September 2011

Countryside Live at Lea Valley 2011

We had a great 4 days at Lea Valley Park with Countryside Live. The schools that came were very enthusiastic. we worked with quite a number of the school groups and hope to work with some of the schools this winter building living willow structures. The Family Days at the weekend were really well attended with a great diversity of people from different cultures getting involved in willow weaving with us. We will be running kids willow weaving again this weekend at Sizergh Castle, Kendal at a woodland event. its very close to home so we don't need to camp this weekend!

Thursday 28 July 2011

Last School Workshops Summer 2011

We have just finished the last of our school workshops that we managed to squeeze in before and after the Tatton Park RHS Garden Show. We worked at the Lakes School and created some fencing and structures for their quadrangle garden. Then we worked at Lum Head Primary in Gateley to make a dome and a woven Wishing Tree. Then it was off to Yorkshire for a day to make a huge Cross for a school Faith Garden.
Now we are taking bookings for the next Living Willow Season that starts in the winter.

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Living Willow

the living willow season is now over until next autumn but what a great time was had by all the children who helped to plant willow dens throughout the country. we are already taking bookings for next season!
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Wednesday 6 April 2011

Twitpic / willowpool

here are some more of our willow pictures Twitpic / willowpool

Saturday 19 March 2011

wishing tree

wishing tree, originally uploaded by willowpool.

these woven willow trees are quite popular with schools at the moment. we are taking bookings for school arts days held in the summer term when schools can create a variety of willow sculptures for display indoors or in environmental areas outside.

Monday 14 March 2011


here is the poster for the willow weekend that we ran in Liverpool at the weekend. we worked with some members of the local community to make the structures. the weather was kind and was warm and sunny on Sunday.

Saturday 12 March 2011

old picture of steve at grizedale

here's an old picture of Steve demonstrating willow weaving at Grizedale Forest.

Sunday 27 February 2011

Living Willow Projects

We have been working in our willow beds all weekend, coppicing and planting. Felled some of the roadside trees that were threatening to shade out some of the willows. So now we have some good ash logs for thr woodburner. We are building a willow dome with a primary school at Lytham St Annes on Tuesday. Still have some dates available for spring projects!

Sunday 6 February 2011


have finally got the Maintenance guide scanned in and uploaded to its own website. I had to do this because Sefton Council have taken down their willow website. we expected it to happen some time as the Sefton Living Shade Project actually finished years ago! As i wrote the text for the website i have no concerns about reposting it on my own site.
its a good idea for schools to print out each page, laminate it and keep it handy in the staffroom. then there are no excuses for not maintaining the willow structures.
here's the link

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Beatrix Potter Garden, Windermere

we have been working in Peter Rabbits garden today. its been cold and very wet all day and we have been renewing the willow fencing in readiness for the re-opening of the place and 5th February. apparently the Chinese and Japanese go wild for Beatrix Potter and flock here! all of the signs are in English and Japanese!
we have spent an uncomfortable day on our bums crawling around the garden weaving willow hurdles. the finished result looks pretty good. worth a visit if you have small children.

Monday 31 January 2011

Canonbie Primary School

we spent a nice day at Canonbie Primary School working with all of the children there to build a living willow tunnel. it was nice to be back in Canonbie as Steve used to live there at Woodslee Cottage near the Willowpool on the River Esk. In fact this is how Willowpool Baskets, later Willowpool Designs got its name. Steve built one of the first Living Willow Tunnels in Scotland on the riverbank beside the river many years ago for Dumfries and Galloway Arts Association. Sadly it was cut down a few years ago but teachers at the school and some of the older pupils remembered the tunnel being there until quite recently.
the new tunnel was built in the school playing field and each pupil planted a willow rod!

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Willow weaving in february

We are in holiday in tenerife for a few days looking for sun but will be starting work again on monday. We still have a few dates for living willow projects

Friday 14 January 2011

Town green garden

Just finishing a tunnel to shelter a carved owl. Sun is shining this afternoon but the site is very soggy. Lots of compliments from passersby

Thursday 13 January 2011

town green garden, ashton in makerfield

Day 3 at the gaden, working on a large entrance arch. Horrible wet day but at least it's not cold

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Town Green, Ashton in Makerfield,Lancashire

Weaving a willow arch for the RHS award winning garden

Monday 10 January 2011

Whitehaven In Bloom

Here is a project that we worked on about 7 years ago for Whitehaven in Bloom. our remit was to work with local schools to create sculptures reflecting the maritime heritage of the town. These sculptures were then installed on roundabout throughout the town. Seem to remember that the town was awarded a Silver Gilt Medal
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Here is a project that we did a few years ago at Acorn Bank near Penrith. the idea was to make a structure using natural resources working with a group of local schoolchildren. we made a basic willow structure, covered it with leaves and then coated it with clay
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Sunday 9 January 2011

Weaving in the snow again at a nursery school in liverpool on friday. Snow had gone by the afternoon