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Willow Spiling

This uses the property of willow to root from it's stems when in contact with soil, living willow rods are woven round live willow posts to protect river or lake banks from erosion, the willow produces a mass of roots and stems to reinforce the bank. Suitable for unshaded sites, faster flowing rivers will usually require a wooden or stone toe to be placed at the bottom of the spiling to prevent washout from underneath, large rocks, gabions or rock rolls are the most long lasting, hazel faggots can also be used



Willow faggots are used for three different techniques.

They can be used to build living dams that slow the flow of water coming from upland areas, see link.

They are used to support river and lake banks that are being eroded, they are placed horizontally along the bank and tied to chestnut posts, they trap any silt coming down the river and grow into the bank, providing a long term solution to the erosion.

They can also be used as fascines, buried in shallow trenches across steep slopes prone to erosion, the willow grows and slows erosion of the slope

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Planting of willow buffer strips along water courses will give four benefits;

Eroded soil from surrounding fields will not be lost into the watercourse.

The surface roughness of the willow will trap soil during flood events preventing further erosion.

The willow will help prevent nitrates and phosphates being washed into the watercourse.

The willow can be used to fuel biomass boilers.

We can supply cuttings material to create your own buffer strips

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Brushwood matting is used to reinforce de-vegetated slopes that are in danger of erosion, willow rods are arranged in a criss-cross pattern, held with pegs and wires, then covered with a shallow layer of soil. The willow grows and stabilises the slope.



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