Willow spiling is the most common and best known green solution for bank revetment. The technique uses woven living willow to form flexible, live, growing structures which resist and deflect water flows, enabling the bank and vegetation to naturally re-generate and stabilise to prevent further erosion.
Spiling requires maintenance to control top growth which can be allowed to form a bank screen or can be controlled by cutting or grazing if access is required in the future.
Live willow is harvested in the winter between November and March and usually has to be used within about three weeks. As this can cause project scheduling difficulties, we are now able to offer a chilled storage service to extend the planting season into June and July. We grow a number of varieties of willow on our own extensive withy beds and we select the most appropriate variety for the situation. For example, we have suitable varieties for even brackish water conditions. But spiling may be difficult to establish in heavy shade, such as under a canopy of mature trees.
This technique can be used in a wide variety of situations and produces a natural, retaining wall, capable of regenerating itself. The willow stakes – driven vertically into the river bed – and interwoven horizontally with willow shoots, quickly establishes a dense root mass and
top growth. Spiling offers protection against erosion to both the toe and upper bank.
Willow stakes available to order from English Hurdle web site: stakes
Willow bundles available to order from English Hurdle web site: bundles
For more details see Cassiobury Park