The willow stakes that I ordered on Wednesday arrived on Friday so I spent a while on Saturday morning putting them in.
This work was a total joy in calm, bright sunny weather with the river wadeable and the banks soft after the winter rain. The rods are over a meter long and look ready to root so I’m very hopeful that they will make an almost instant improvement to bankside habitat.
I worked up-stream from Newhouses, planting in small groups trying to mimic natural growth patterns in areas where the bank looked vulnerable to erosion. It surprised me how much willow went into so short a distance and I failed to make the target of Newhouses risings. I thought that it would take a good while to knock in 100 willow stakes, but armed with a length of rebar and working steadily I got everything in in under an hour. It seems to me that we could do a great deal more for a reasonable outlay and without spending a lot of time doing it. And there is still time this season to make a big impact.
The pre-season working party is at the Tarn next Saturday. Meet around 10am to prepare the lodge and boathouse for the new season, look at jobs to be done in warmer weather and share some bacon butties.