An added benefit of willow spiling

Maybe my shortest blog ever!  Just over a year ago I wrote about the woven willow panels or spiling being used to manage erosion on the banks of the river Wear in Durham.  I talked about the benefits of ‘soft’ erosion control and how the roots of the willow help to stabilise the bank.

Yesterday, however, in warm March sunshine I encountered a benefit I hadn’t thought of. The goat willow saplings lining the bank by the university sports grounds are covered in catkins and were absolutely buzzing with pollinators – an important early source of nectar and pollen.  I couldn’t get close enough to photograph the insects without risking an unscheduled bath, unfortunately, but I think you can get the picture!


  1. Good Morning from North Carolina, USA!

    Your blog is still relevant and appreciated. As I was weed eating today I noticed the red shoots on my Willow trunk. Since we lost another Willow last year, I immediately Googled and found your article. We’ve had a ton of rain so I was relieved that he’s behaving normally.

    Thank you and blessings,
    Terri White

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