North Mundham pupils’ stars reveal ‘ins and outs’ of willow weaving

Youngsters at North Mundham Primary School in School Lane, North Mundham, have been busy learning the ancient rural craft of willow weaving from award-winning willow sculptor, Victoria Westaway.

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The 60 pupils, aged 7-10, attended the special workshop organised by local social housing provider Stonewater, which is currently building 25 much-needed affordable homes opposite the school and village hall in the new Stoney Meadow housing development.

Under the guidance of expert willow sculptor Victoria Westaway, the youngsters wove a glittering constellation of fairy-lit stars which will light up the school corridors this Christmas.

“We were really impressed with the wonderful willow stars the children created in Victoria’s inspirational workshop,” says Jackie Burton, Stonewater Development Officer. “It’s so important that this ancient rural craft is kept alive in the community through fun educational activities, like today’s willow weaving workshop, which pass the tradition on to the next generation.”

The children’s workshop is tied in with Stonewater’s plans to provide the new Stoney Meadow housing community with a public artwork that creates a sense of place in keeping with the development’s surrounding mature hedgerows and flora and fauna.

Assistant Headteacher Justin Murray says: “Each pupil was able to develop a new skill with Victoria. The outcomes were fantastic, and everyone was full of pride in their work and engaged in the activity. Links with the community are an important part of our school ethos. We all had a thoroughly enjoyable day.”

Construction is well underway on Stonewater’s new Stoney Meadow housing development off School Lane which when completed in March next year, will offer local people a mix of one- two- and three-bedroom houses, bungalows and apartments for affordable rent and low-cost shared ownership. The part-rent, part-buy shared ownership homes will be available through www.stonewaterhomes.co.uk while the rental properties will be allocated through the Council.