Willow walkway wonder created by Harpenden families amid lockdown

Children grew a willow tunnel for their school during lockdown for The Lea Primary & Nursery School

Children grew a willow tunnel for their school during lockdown for The Lea Primary & Nursery School Willow Wand Project. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant

Harpenden schoolchildren have grown a willow tunnel for their school during lockdown.

Children grew a willow tunnel for their school during lockdown for The Lea Primary & Nursery School

Children grew a willow tunnel for their school during lockdown for The Lea Primary & Nursery School Willow Wand Project. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant

The Lea Primary and Nursery School have found their Willow Wand project during lockdown to be an activity for both the community and sustainability.

A compost-creating and bug-making event was planned to coincide with St Albans Sustainability Festival but cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic so the Parent Teacher Association decided to grow the trees instead.

Parent and member of the PTA Helen Carter said: “After a trip to the UN in Kenya, I was inspired to get more individuals planting trees, and I thought it would be a great idea to source and sell willow wands, or cuttings, for school families to grow into trees.”

PTA vice-chair Katy Hamilton said that they organised the delivery of cuttings, pots and soil to the doorsteps of families who were already self-isolating.

Children grew a willow tunnel for their school during lockdown for The Lea Primary & Nursery School

Children grew a willow tunnel for their school during lockdown for The Lea Primary & Nursery School Willow Wand Project. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant


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She added: “We sold 110 wands and asked each family to return at least one of the wands back to the school when it had grown roots.”

People without gardens watched the willow grow in jam jars and vases.

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The school has now collected almost 50 of the mini willow trees which the parent group has planted by hand to create a tunnel of willow.

Headteacher James Berry said: “Whilst we were disappointed, we couldn’t be involved in the Sustainability Festival, the willow growing project has evolved into something really fantastic.

“During lockdown, the collective activity helped keep our community working together on something common.

“The planting of the willows has also come at a great time as we have started to open the school up to wider numbers of children. We are all excited about the opportunity to play in a tunnel that children have grown themselves.”

Four-year-old William Hamilton said: “I like watering my willow tree”

His sister, Florence, eight, said: “I really enjoyed planting the willow up on the field. It was quite hard to dig the dry soil, but I had lots of fun!”

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