What do I need to make a Hurdle Fence Panel

About willow hurdles

Making willow hurdles is a great way to create borders, fencing, roundhouses, wattle panels, vegetable plots and give an authentic, rustic look to the garden. The fabrication of fencing hurdles for willow is an ancient craft and has been used in Britain and many other countries for centuries. Originally used as a moveable fencing to partition land in open field farming systems, willow fencing hurdles are effective and attractive in any garden.

It is a traditional woven willow hurdle using treated softwood for the uprights and capping along the bottom and top of the panel. The main structure is woven using 7 and 8-foot willow 'withies' which are selectively chosen for their quality and strength. This design offers robust fencing whilst retaining its natural charm. For a very undulating garden or a fence that requires gentle curves it is sometimes beneficial to build the fence on site.

Preparation of material

Hurdles are made using willow when it is partially fresh and green. Using freshly harvested willow is not advisable as it will become very loose and have unsightly gaps in the finished product.

When using fully seasoned material (dry brown), which has been harvested at least 6-12 months ago you will need to soak it for at least a week in the summer and up to two weeks in the winter.

When soaking willow, use a large soaking tank or a pond, if you are lucky to have one near. Tanks are best kept covered, to limit algae build-up. Once you have soaked the willow or the acquired time, hose it down, let it stand to drain for an hour, then wrap the willow in a damp blanket or similar or a day to let it mellow.


Suitable product: Hurdles wads 7-9ft lengths (green weight 10KG) (dry weight 7KG) and medium brown sticks. 2.5 Wads will cover approx. 6ft x 6ft area (36sqft) and 12 willow sticks (hazel can be also be used)

Tools needed

·         A wooden jig – it needs to the same length as the hurdles – for instance, a 3ft wide hurdle has holes for eight upright sticks. The wooden jig fits into a Workmate, which is stable and enables you to work at a comfortable height

·         Loppers or bow saw

·         Secateurs

·         Fingerless gloves or protection

·         Secateurs

·         A draw knife to sharpen the points on the uprights (or you can do this with a knife)

·         A basket makers’ rapping iron (a flat piece of metal can be used)

·         Measuring sticks (one to check with the width and one for the height)

Hurdle Panel Finished

Maintenance of the willow hurdles

We would recommend to use Linseed and Turpentine Oil to treat your panels. You can purchase a 2L container of Boiled Linseed Oil and 2L Turpentine directly from us or any outdoor store. Mix Equal Quantities of linseed and turpentine to coat the hurdle to increase the life of your panel.

The Two containers will provide sufficient coverage (front and back) for 4-6, 6ft x 6ft hurdle panels.

We would recommend treating your panel 1-2 times a years.

Musgrove Willows Ltd © 2020