Ysgol Llanwenog

Living Willow Play Area

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We helped build a living willow play area at Ysgol Gynradd Gymorthedig Wirfoddol Llanwenog on a lovely sunny Saturday March 21st 2009. There was a fantastic turn out of parents and children on the day; the head teacher, Heddwen Davies, had done a great job of rallying support. It felt like a real summer party atmosphere with people picnicing around the site in the sunshine and the children playing around the partially completed structure. All we needed was the smoke of a BBQ to finish off the scene. It was very strange planting willow on such a sunny day, you could tell the planting season was coming to the end (it sounds like we’re always out working in the sun but you can bet the rain will be lashing down when we harvest in January). Having so many people made very light work of getting the 500 rods in the ground and tying the 1000 or so knots that were needed to hold it all together. Along with the school we designed the structure to fit in a narrow strip alongside the sports field. We’d put a low children’s entrance leading into a small tunneled maze and a larger adults entrance at the other end. Both led into a 3m wide dome that could be used as a living classroom.

We’ve since been back to help maintain the structure (in Dec 2009 and Jan 2011 – photo’s coming soon) and keep it looking ship shape despite the rabbits, the children and the cold winds in that exposed spot (lovely views mind).