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The Friends of Polkemmet group have been carrying out small maintenance tasks within the park to improve the appearance of the park.  We applied for a River Life Project Package grant to deliver a willow spiling project along the river embankment. Willow Spiling is a natural way to reinforce the river embankment from further erosion. The Project was undertaken over a whole weekend in sub-zero conditions and was a labour intensive but enjoyable process for all involved.

At first we had to sharpen the willow stumps to allow them to be pierced into the ground, once the stumps were secured into the embankment we then weaved the smaller, thinner pieces of willow through the stumps to create a wall of willow along the embankment. Once this process was finished, we then back filled behind the willow with brash and will, over time continue to fill the gaps with brash until it decomposes to become to fully support the embankment from further erosion from the river. Finally, we hope over time the willow that is secured in the embankment will take root and the willow will be able to grow and flourish to provide protection to the embankment.

Would just like to say a massive thank you to River Life and Luke for their support and input throughout this project, their expertise was invaluable. All volunteers involved over the weekend learned numerous skills and thoroughly enjoyed their involvement in the project.

If you would like to be involved in the Friends of Polkemmet group please get in touch with David at Whitburn Community Development Trust on david@whitburncdt.org.uk or the countryside ranger Hannah at Hannah.Crow@westlothian.gov.uk or follow the Friends of Polkemmet group on Facebook.


David Macdonald
Community Development Worker
Whitburn and District Community Development Trust.