I spent the day at my friends farm in Dolphinholme and we played with willow, willow is amazing for building structures, we used Osier willow to make lanterns and I made an oblix for my ivy to grow up.
There is a local custom in Chediston, Suffolk, known as a 'willow stripping' ceremony. This is usually held at the first full moon in May. A Green George figure is dressed in willow strippings, dances around and is then ceremoniously thrown into the local pond.
Osier withies (strong, flexible willow stems) are traditionally used for basket-making and weaving, and are becoming increasingly popular for use as willow screens and sculptures.
Osier, like all willows, is also grown for its ability to absorb heavy metals, and is often planted to 'clean up' contaminated waste ground. (thank you Woodland Trust for this info)
We had a lot of fun and used wire to make tealight holders for the bottom of the lanterns, tissue and handmade paper for the sides and used PVA to keep it all in place.
I also saw the first born lamb of the season, only minutes old. Spring is such a wonderful time of year.