New Osier bed at Sacrewell Farm

Over the winter we have been preparing and planting a new osier bed at Sacrewell Farm. You can find it in the field behind the mill pond where 1642 Field Sports are situated.

An osier bed is a plantation of willow for use in basketry and other woven products. The willow was traditionally known as withies, sallow or osier.

On a small plot of about 12m square we have planted about 1200 cuttings, 120 for each of 10 different varieties suitable for basket making. The plants have been cut from last year’s growth of willow on other local osier beds. The plants, otherwise known as setts, are about 12” (30cm) long and are simply pushed into the soil to root and grow

Willow is typically harvested every year during the winter months to produce flexible withies suitable for basket making. Each plant can produce between 5 and 30 rods each year.

Varieties planted:-

Salix purpurea “Dicky Meadows”

Salix Triandra “Black Maul”

Salix Alba Vitellina x Fragilis “Flanders Red”

Salix purpurea “Dark Dicks”

Salix rubra “Harrisons”

Salix purpurea “Le Bleu”

Salix purpurea “Green Dicks”

Salix purpurea “Brittany Green”

Salix purpurea “Brittany Blue”

Salix purpurea “Packing Twine”

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