We are really excited that our project to reconstruct an Iron Age Round House is underway. We will use locally sourced Oak, Ash and Hazel as part of the build, plus over 1000 willow rods, many of which will be sourced from Flag Fen.
The ancient woodland management tradition of coppicing the willow, is still used at Flag Fen. This not only helps to create habitats for a wider range of species to live in, but will also provide us with the building materials that we will need to build our new Iron Age Round House this spring. Willow is a self-renewing source of wood that grows back very quickly- almost 2 metres per year. The team usually coppice the trees on a five year cycle. This year, there will be a special cut to provide the extra wood that we will need for our new reconstruction.
The willow trees planted on the park were chosen to reflect the type of landscape that would have been seen here over 3000 years ago. The species is Crack Willow (Salix Fragilis) so named because of the loud cracking noise that the twigs and branches make as they split and break in the wind. Willow would have been an important building material in the past and the people of the Fens would have used this valuable commodity for making baskets, eel traps and building materials for their houses. You can see an example of a willow eel trap in the Hudson Barn.
Photo: Iron Age Roundhouse. Photographer: Dan Barrett