Maiden Erlegh Nature Reserve


If a young, broad-leaved tree is cut across about 2-3 meters from the ground, it will send out fresh shoots and form a bushy crown. This practice, called pollarding, from the Norman-French word poll, meaning head, was once widespread. As the young shoots started growth well clear of the ground, they were safe from grazing cattle and deer.

Repeated pollarding gives successive crops of small poles suitable for fencing, basketry or firewood. Most of the pollards within the reserve are willows.