Planting, Growing and Harvesting your own willow


Workshop Overview

If you are thinking about growing your own willow or simply want to know how willow is grown and harvested, you will find this workshop invaluable. You may even just fancy a day in the fresh air with good company, learning a new skill.

We will be discussing the historical background relating to willow growing and you will have first-hand experience of harvesting and planting in our willow beds, here on the farm. You will learn about caring for willow cuttings as well as looking after harvested willow. This includes a tour of our willow barn.



Time Activity
10:00 Registration, Tea and homemade shortbread or Welsh cakes on arrival.
10:15 Discussing the historical background of willow growing.
11:30 Morning break with homemade cake of the day.
11:45 Cutting and sorting willow from our willow beds.
13:00  Lunch
13:45 Planning and planting of willow beds.
15:30 Afternoon break with more homemade cake.
15:45 Caring for willow cuttings and stools across the year.
17:00 Workshop finishes with celebratory group photograph.


What You Will Learn

Gill Jones Basket Slide

During this workshop, you will learn:

  • Why basketmakers choose to grow their own willow;
  • What varieties are grown and why;
  • What makes a good willow bed for your willow cuttings;
  • How to care for your willow cutting across the year;
  • When willow growers harvest willow, along with cutting and sorting techniques;
  • How to plan and plant a willow bed.

What You Will Take Home

At the end of the workshop, you will have a greater understanding of how to plant, grow and harvest willow. You will also be able to take home 50 cuttings to start your own willow bed. You will also be able to purchase willow cuttings should you wish.

Important Details

The Rural Skills Centre will provide:

  • All materials and equipment to harvest and plant willow cuttings;
  • Tea, coffee and lots of homemade cake;
  • A light lunch (please let us know if you have any specific dietary requirements;
  • Parking; and
  • Accessible facilities.

Please bring:

  • Warm clothes that you happy to do gardening in
  • A pair of gardening gloves if you don’t like getting your hands muddy
  • Boots or wellingtons
  • Willow Obelisk


Suitable for Beginners Icon

The Planting, Growing and Harvesting Willow workshop is suitable for complete beginners as well as those wishing to understand more about willow. Our willow beds are situated in a field alongside the farm drive, so you will need to be able to walk to them.


This workshop is taught by Gill from Rural Skills Centre