Visitors to the Love Lane site may have noticed that the main willow patch has recently had a severe haircut…
It’s a technique sometimes referred to as ‘Copparding’ – a mixture of ‘Coppicing’ (where we’d cut at or near to ground level) and ‘Pollarding’ (where we cut at a height where browsing animals – deer, etc – can’t nibble the new shoots).
While we’ve yet to see any deer at Love Lane (although there are reports of Muntjac as close as Marazion), we thought we’d save ourselves some backache when it comes to harvesting the withies for weaving – with the added advantage of maintaining good sight-lines through the patch.
Check out the withybeds in this film footage from 1949 (Looe):
You can see what we’re aiming for at about the 20 second mark. The 1878 OS map of our area shows ‘Osier’ (withy) beds right in the middle of the current Rugby pitch (circled red):
That’s probably just a remnant of what was grown in the Larrigan ‘Estuary’ before the river was completely tamed.
A reminder that the PEN AGM is due to be held on Thursday 26th March 2015 at 7.30pm, in the Dolphin, Quay Street, Penzance.
See you there!
Everything’s slowly waking up down at Love Lane – it must be all the sunshine – a couple of daffodils are blooming, flecks of white blossom on some of the blackthorn and green buds everywhere you look.
Celandine (below) is another early arrival – considered an invasive species in North America, where is shades out even ivy… this one looks like it’s getting a head start on some bramble:
Up in the woods, the badgers are clearly active and look like they’ve been working on a new extension to the sett. Apparently there could be almost 1000 feet of tunnels down there. Any more and they’ll need planning permission.
It’s a good time of year to look around the woods, before the new leaf obscures everything. The woods are home to a few very old and most interesting trees, this one being about the oldest (and most interesting).
Some blueberries, ripening nicely.