Weavers working in Homersfield to appear on BBC’s Countryfile
PUBLISHED: 09:00 29 July 2016
They hand weave carpets and baskets from bulrushes, using traditional methods that date back to medieval times.
And now, the historic techniques used by Waveney Rush Limited are set to be showcased during a segment of the BBC 1 Countryfile programme on Sunday. Established just two years after the end of the Second World War, the company is one of only two left in the UK that continues to use the traditional method of weaving to provide for buildings all over the world.
Initially their rushes were harvested in the River Yare, however due to declining water quality in the 1960s they were forced to import the rushes from Holland.
But now, in conjunction with the Environment Agency, the Broads Authority, and the Waveney River Trust, the company are returning to harvesting English bulrush in the River Waveney at Homersfield.
The move soon caught the attention of the BBC Countryfile team, who spent a whole day with the company earlier this month – which saw employees spend five hours in the river and another four in the workshop.
Anna Toulson, managing director of the company, which is based in Oulton Broad, said: “It was certainly a nerve-wracking experience and quite an ordeal in the lead up to the shoot as our two aluminium punts, that we use for harvesting, were stolen from the river’s edge at Homersfield only a week earlier.
“There was a mad dash to find suitable alternatives in time for the filming.”
“The job offers an amazing level of satisfaction when you see a bundle of rushes transform into a beautiful carpet and basket.
“To be able to watch those rushes grow and then harvest them in our local river is the icing on the cake for us.”
“We wanted to emphasise the sustainability of our work, and the knock on benefits to the river and its users.”
The programme is due to be broadcast at 7pm.
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