What is willow spiling?
Willow spiling is an attractive, cost effective and sustainable soft engineering intervention to prevent river and waterway bank erosion. It uses locally sourced native willow which is planted and allowed to take root to stabilize banks. The procedure involves weaving willow rods between stakes that are driven into the ground, the area behind is backed up with soil and stabilized, then protected by appropriate fencing if required.
Willow spiling provides a functional tool in river engineering where it is required, with the added benefit of creating valuable habitat at the same time. The use of willow spiling is often advocated in sensitive river environments which are often subject to statutory designations. Soft engineering methods such as willow spiling are also favourable with respect to the requirements of the Water Framework Directive.
When do I need to get in touch?
Willow spiling, like tree planting, can only be undertaken during the winter months (October to March inclusive) before the cut willow starts to shoot, so this needs to be considered in relation to the phasing of your project if you are considering this option for your land or project. We are happy to undertake a site visit at any time of the year though (for free if within a 50 mile radius of EcoNorth’s Cramlington office) so please get in touch.
What we do
Initially we will undertake a site visit to ensure that we offer you the most cost-efficient willow spiling solution tailored to your project. We then pull together a fixed fee proposal outlining cost, logistics and timings.
Upon commission we order materials, sort access logistics and undertake the willow weave process in a safe and timely manner.
Finally, we can undertake site maintenance visit to ensure that the willow has taken route and is beginning the bank stabilisation process during the following autumn.