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We were joined by Class 3 from Threlkeld School to build a new willow den at Dam Mire Wood. It’s a good job that willow likes water. Did it rain? It threw it down! We had two big batches of ready cut willow to make a 4m wide willow domed den. We’d love Dam Mire Wood to be used by the local community and the school, as well as visitors and walkers.

Outdoor learning

It’s great to see the school already using Dam Mire Wood for their outdoor learning classes. They have helped us to plant trees and a new hedge. This time it was a den! It was great to see our volunteers, many of whom we have not met before, and the school children, working together. So the mix of young and old, tall and short all got stuck in. Size mattered as we got nearer the top, tying in all the willow branches and forming an interwoven den but whilst the volunteers did the top bits, some of the kids were great at tying the branches together lower down. 

Look for the doorway

We have left a doorway with fantastic views across to Clough Head and down St Johns in the Vale. Looking on the positive side, perhaps the cold and wet made us work faster, the whole den was up in less than two hours. Staying positive, the rain saved us a job of watering in the willow afterwards!

What shall we add to the den?

The children spent time last year learning about dens, so one of the great things about willow is once it is growing, and it is fast growing, putting on up to a metre a year, you can cut it and use the offcuts and pegs to grow new things. 
The next step is to think about potential additions to the den. Maybe a tunnel porch, another room, or a funny shape? Maybe another den elsewhere on the site…. The adults were thinking of a turf wall and a wood burner inside! Willow is great for short rotation coppice to use for wood pellets for wood chip boilers too.

Join us 

Next week sees us dry stone walling at Mazonwath, the delayed, then delayed again mince pie and mulled wine workparty. Third time lucky we hope. as the mince pies have been in the freezer all this time!  You can join us by booking here.