Willow Industry and History
Willow or Salix sp is a very durable wood. Histotically Willow has had many uses from making Cricket Bats and is particularly well known in the Basketry Industry to River Bank and Coastal Erosion Control and even Scaffolding, famously a London Church was renovated by Weaving a Willow case around the Church.
Today it is still used widely and Burnham Willow continues a long heritage of the use of Willow for Fencing in Norfolk an around East Anglia.
To get the willow for different uses requires specific management of Willow Beds. Willow Beds are esentially a planted crop of Willow Salix sp, Somerset is the main home of the basketry trade, but Norfolk has a history of Basketmaking and growing particularly for the fishing industry.
There are hundreds of varieties of Willow and all can have different uses and management. In the Basketry industry the Willow or Withies can be processed in different ways to obtain differnt texture and colours. From the freshly cut green willow some are then processed dried with the bark on called Brown, steamed to produce a darker chocolate brown, or stripped to produce White or Buff.
Essentially Burnham Willow uses Salix viminalis spp our crops are managed on a three year rotation using willow of three years of age.