In the late 1970's Crawford Balch revived the art of making woven willow fences, traditionally used to contain stock and made from osiers too large or rough for fine basket work, and began to use them for individually designed gardens. Since then he has built up a reputation as a master craftsman, growing his own willows and working continuously throughout Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk.
In 1995 Neil Stimpson, his nephew, came to harvest willows and learnt to weave. After obtaining an Honours degree in Agricultural and Environmental science from Newcastle and a period working in America, Africa and New Zealand he established Rivendale Willows which ran in conjunction with C&J Balch until Crawford retired in 2015.
Rivendale Willows is now based at Derrybrook Farm in Debenham and has carried on managing the willow beds and employing John and Trevor Arbon so we retain considerable experience.