Yesterday I spent the day at Merry Hill in Bushey with 60 children from Sacred Heart Primary School creating a living willow dome and fedge. We spent the day learning about the different types of willow and had the chance to help make the structure that we will be able to watch grow and change over the coming months. We also took part in a dried willow workshop and created bird feeders, snails and magic stars.
Merry Hill is a fantastic example of what Heartwood might look like in a few years time. It is a superb 76ha woodland creation site located between Harrow and Watford on the outskirts of London. It was formerly an arable farm, acquired by the Woodland Trust in 1996. Subsequently over a third of the site was planted with native broadleaf trees between 1997 and 2000.
Complementing the young woodland are vast open meadows, some of which are grazed throughout the summer months, adding diversity and richness to the site as well as offering splendid views across the countryside. An establishing orchard is also an interesting addition to this large community woodland which is cared for and managed by a dedicated volunteer group. And now we have a living willow dome, great for picnics in the summer and a living willow arbour seat situated in the fruit field to watch the sun go down. A beautiful place to enjoy nature!
So if you would like to see what Heartwood could look like in a few years time take a walk around Merry Hill and for more information visit http://www.wt-woods.org.uk/MerryHill.