Living Willow Bridge

An innovative solution to bridge building
client  The Woodland Trust
architect  Smith and Wallwork & Cambridge University
value  £2,500
service  structural engineering, construction

How do you stop a timber footbridge from decaying? Well, at Cow Hollow we have planted a bridge….our plans for a Living Willow Bridge are now reality after much thinking and doing. Using coppiced willow from the surrounding plantation we have woven a willow arch and deck that has been planted into the ditch bank.

The Woodland Trust and WREN has sponsored the project; Smith and Wallwork and Cambridge University were jointly responsible for the design and installation.

Construction began in November and the main arch and deck were completed in December, a total of some 200 hours of volunteer work were spent on site.

The bridge uses white willow and osier, there is no concrete, metal or plastic to be seen, just what was sourced from the plantation.

We have added a walking surface and handrail and spring 2013 will host a grand opening. Signs of willow growth are already visible on the bridge.