Willow fencing & hurdles
Create your own willow fencing and hurdles with Richard King. Click on his name above to see more about him.
We will be working with one and two-year willow cut either from the Mill Farm, or a neighbouring willow bed. The techniques you will learn will be applicable to hazel weaving also.
If it is not raining, we shall definitely be working outside, so please come suitably dressed and with strong boots or shoes.
History of willow hurdles
The cultivation of willow for this purpose
How to select the right materials for different styles of weaving
The billhook and its uses
How to cleave willow
Your finished panel to take home will be approximately 3' square.
COMMENTS FROM PAST PARTICIPANTS
Just the right number of course members. Lovely atmosphere – good course. I hope to do some at home.
I would like to learn how to split hazel and use it for the same purpose. James L.
I was amazed at how professional the fencing panels looked when we had finished.
Such a lovely day, teaching was great and venue and refreshments were amazing. Thank you.
Very good day, learnt a lot!
Thank you for a wonderful introduction to Assington Mill yesterday. Such an interesting place to be and the perfect setting for Richards hurdle making course. I thought that made an excellent tutor. He was very knowledgeable, clearly skilled with a love of his craft and very patient as we learnt new techniques with very sharp billhooks! This meant that we all left with a very presentable crafted willow panel and a new found enthusiasm. I'm sure that everyone in the group enjoyed the experience. I did note that some people hadn't come prepared for working all day outside as the pictures on the website show the workshop taking place indoors but as it didn't rain we were all fine. So it might be worth making that possibility clear for future groups. Your food was simply splendid - a veritable feast! I have looked on the website for the spelt bread recipe - it would be great if it was on there. I look forward to returning to Assington - I came home and devoured the website for future courses so I shall look forward to seeing you again soon. Beverley J.
I thought Sunday's course was fabulous. I enjoyed the introductory talk - great advice about planting willow, tools, harvesting techniques, spacing and so on. Good to be able to ask questions. Loved all the practical stuff - tying the bundles, twisting the willow as well as making the hurdle itself. Richard was very clear and patient, and he made it look so easy! I think we had about the right number of people - any more would have made it difficult for him to get round to us all when we were having tricky moments. A lovely group of people - so nice to spend time with like-minded people. It was so lovely to be welcomed by you and Bob into your wonderful home. Driving down the long track to the farm felt like retreating from the pressures of everyday life - what a beautiful setting! Lunch was lovely and a real surprise - I was not expecting to be treated to all that fantastic home-made food. It felt so much more than just going on a course because we got to know you a little bit. I shall certainly recommend you to friends, and hope to book another course when time permits. And I'll keep in mind what you said, Anne, about straw-bale building courses. There was only one thing I would improve: from looking at the picture on the website, I'd wrongly assumed that we'd be working inside, so had brought a rather inappropriate coat!! It might be handy to state in the course descriptions whether people will be working indoors or outdoors. But that's a minor thing! Thank you all so much for a great day. And please say hello to your gorgeous cat! Best wishes, Katy
What to Bring
Strong boots or shoes
A billhook if you have one
Work gloves, ruibberised
Old clothes or overalls
Secateurs & loppers
These may be extra.