Sunday, 30 December 2018

Somerset Levels Willows

Each landscape has its iconic trees, and on the Somerset levels in the area surrounding Godney, I would say they are the pollarded willows.  I stopped at the edge of the narrow lane, which was subsiding slowly into the soggy ground, along which pollarded willows stood sentinel along a flowing rhyne, to allow a car to pass.

  Here stood two willows whose main trunks survived sufficiently to support numerous small branches which sprouted following pollarding maybe three to four years ago.  If they are not pollarded when this old and hollowed out, they collapse into the soft earth.

What starts off  as a road, becomes a lane as it drops to the levels from the Mendip slopes, and it soon straighten out to become a network of narrow droves that crisscross Godney Moor. Only drivers trying to reach one of the small hamlets or farms ought to venture on these narrow lanes, but for the cyclist they are a pleasant way of viewing the wildlife, cattle, hills, skies and flocks of birds. With the ever present Glostonbury Tor giving a marker and aid to orientation, if the sun is hidden behind a low blanket of cloud.

1 comment:

  1. It looks so brutal to pollard trees - but it seems to be cruel to be kind?