We are pleased to announce our handmade wicker baskets with authentic sheepskins are now in stock and available in 5 colours.
Our wicker beds come from the heart of the Somerset Levels handmade by the Coate family who have been growing withies on the moors since 1819 and making baskets and willow charcoal for almost 50 years. The unique wetland environment of the Somerset Levels and moors is perfect for growing willow as well as being a haven for wildlife. Basket making willow has been grown here for two centuries, and it is now the only area left where it is still commercially grown and processed for the production of baskets, furniture, garden items and high quality artists' charcoal. The Somerset Levels is the most important wetland area in the U.K. This unique landscape provides the perfect conditions for willow growing. Here indeed is the heart of the English willow industry, an industry that in many ways has not changed for centuries. Willow grows extremely quickly, in one growing season which lasts from late May to early October a single rod can reach up to 8ft long. New willow beds are planted in the spring using pieces of willow from the crop harvested during the preceding winter. The new willow bed will not be fully productive in the first three years, but once it is well established, with careful management the plants can last up to 30 years. Each mature plant or "stool" gives rise to over 30 rods. The crop is harvested each winter time after the leaves have died and fallen, these old leaves provide nutrients for the following years, eliminating the need for artificial fertilisers. The willow beds provide homes and shelter for many species of birds and animals during the summer months. Willow growing is part of the rich environmental heritage of this area of Somerset. Both the commercial willow crops, or beds and the pollarded willow trees contribute to the character and image of the region. Machines are now used for cutting the withies and stripping off the bark, but in many ways the industry has hardly changed.
These beautiful baskets will compliment any home