The Willow Holt

Being able to grow and harvest my own willow is an integral part of my work and allows me the privilege of learning from its every stage of growth and development.

The holt was planted in January 2012 on land registered with the Soil Association and is managed to organic standards. The planting was inspired by local historian Rodney Cousins, author of “A Basketful”.  The book documents the history and tradition of willow work in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.  I started to grow willow varieties linked to the county historically and now have over 40, please scroll down to see the list.  My favourites include ‘Lincolnshire Dutch’ and Salix forbyana.  Many of these small, fine basketry varieties can be grown in gardens and deserve more interest and recognition.


The Holt and its surrounding pasture has hosted:

  • Short-eared Owl
  • Roe Deer
  • Foxes
  • 3 species of Orchid
  • Various Hawk Moths
  • Evidence of Harvest Mice nests
  • Willow Warblers
  • Whitethroat
  • Chiff chaff
  • Over-wintering Woodcock

The understorey is rich and varied and home to many mammals and invertebrates, lichens and mosses.

Salix collection

S. alba vitellina ‘Elmore’s yellow’
S. alba vitellina ‘Chermesina’
S. Americana
S. amplexicaulis
S. x basfordiana
S. candida
S. cinerea ‘Thurlby Fen’
S. daphnoides several varieties
S. x decipiens
S. forbyana female
S. forbyana male
S. myrsinifolia/phyllicifolia varieties
S. purpurea var. helix
S. purpurea ‘Dark Dicks’
S. purpurea Eugenii’

S. purpurea ‘Green Dicks’
S. purpurea ‘Leics Dicks’
S. purpurea ‘Lincolnshire Dutch’
S. purpurea jagiellonika/uralensis
S. purpurea ‘Nicholsonii pupurescens’
S. x rubra Harrisons
S. triandra ‘Noire de Villaine’
S. triandra ‘Petite Grisette’
S. triandra ‘Brunette Noir’
S. triandra ‘Champion’
S. triandra x vim. (moll. hipp.) ‘Notts Spaniard’
S. triandra x vim. (moll. hipp.) ‘Trustworthy’
S. viminalis several sp.