Here at Coates English Willow we believe in working towards a sustainable future and are working hard to achieve that goal.
All of the withy beds are on land designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest and we work closely with conservation organisations to maintain the wide range of habitats that wildlife calls home.
Willow grows extremely quickly, in one growing season, which lasts from late May to early October, a single rod can reach up to 8ft long. New willow beds are planted in the spring using pieces of willow from the crop harvested during the previous winter. With careful management the plants can last up to 30 years.
Each mature plant or "stool" gives rise to over 30 rods. The crop is harvested each winter time after the leaves have died and fallen, these old leaves provide nutrients for the following years, eliminating the need for artificial fertilisers.
Both the commercial willow crops, or beds and the pollarded willow trees contribute to the character and image of the "Somerset Levels" region.
The process of burning willow is considered to be carbon neutral, making them a good environmental option. Unlike traditional wood, we don't have to wait generations to harvest the next crop of willow, it is harvested annually.