A good pollarding

      Way out on the fen a lovely example of a pollarded willow, one of a whole long row of old and weathered willows next to a dyke that is brim full of water after all the rain. Like most old trees they are haven for birds, mammals and insects; in the cracks, holes and splits wild flowers grow in their own little world.
      Some say the willow holds more wild-life than any other tree whilst others say the oak tree does, so you'll just have to decide who to support or go and check some examples out to be sure.
      No doubt the willow will be harvested either this or next winter where they can be planted and used to create new trees or they will go to be used by thatchers, basket or trap makers. There's probably a new fishing basket growing out of that willow too.
      The willow pictured below is wearing its winter coat in late February, well before the trees burst into leaf.