- Pearls in Peril
- PiP Projects
- Willow spiling
What is it?
- An ancient technique that has been modified and improved upon to reduce excess silt input to the river from ‘aggravated’ erosion of riverbanks
- Using locally grown willow and local craftsman to weave a willow hurdle into the river bank
- It is all done by hand, no machinery required
- Protects the river from excess silt caused by eroding riverbanks
- PiP has installed 300m over seven sites and all have survived the 2015/16 floods and have effectively protected the riverbanks
- There are wider benefits for biodiversity providing habitat and also shade to river for mussels and other species
- SSSI consent is required on protected sites
- Suitable sites need to be carefully selected to ensure its success, it doesn’t work everywhere
- Must be maintained and cut every three years
- Landowners encouraged to maintain it long-term – incentive is that it can be sold or re-used elsewhere on their site
See some before and after photos below.