23rd January 2002

 

WEAVING WILLOWS

Photograph available on request

 

Forestry students from the Lincolnshire School of Agriculture’s Riseholme Park campus are branching out in a new direction.

 

First-year National Diploma Forestry and Arboriculture students are creating their own willow garden products to sell at the Riseholme Plant Centre.

 

Willow archways, wigwams and baskets will form the basis of the product range but more creative items may appear as the students develop their weaving skills.

 

The products will complement other garden ornaments on sale in the plant centre and will go on sale towards the end of March.

 

The merchandise forms part of a student project which looks at identifying the product chain from the raw material to the sale of the finished article.

 

The willow is being harvested by the students from a coppice at Riseholme which was first planted by the Forestry Commission in 1995 as part of a biomass trial. 

 

No longer required for its original purposes, the forestry department decided to utilise the crop to produce locally grown items for sale to the local market.

 

“The students are learning about coppice management, so more will be planted to replace what is being harvested,” said Steve Fox, course tutor. 

 

“Willow is a fast-growing crop and the plan is to have a multi-aged coppice which can be continually harvested to produce the goods. 

 

“I am very keen to emphasize to the students the importance of managing a sustainable environment and this project shows them how this can be done.”

 

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Go to photo – Steve Fox, course tutor demonstrating wigwam making.

 

For more information contact:

 

Gill Noakes, Press Assistant, University of Lincoln

Tel: 01522 886244 or Email: gnoakes@lincoln.ac.uk

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