HC Deb 08 November 1937 vol 328 cc1430-1W
Sir W. Jenkins

asked the Minister of Agriculture what acreage of willow growing is in England and Wales and where grown; and how much employment is absorbed by the willow-growing industry, including the manufacturing side?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

The latest official figures for the acreage of willows and the estimated production are to be found in "The Agricultural Output of England and Wales, 1925," Cmd. 2815. Statistics dealing with willows are not, however, now collected, but I am indebted to the Rural Industries Bureau for the following figures indicating the present position. There are in England about 2,300 acres under cultivation for basket willows, of which some 1,500 are in Somerset, the remainder being divided between Lancashire, Trent Valley, Severn Valley and Suffolk. No willows are grown in Wales. The number of persons actually employed in the cultivation of basket willows is about 100, of which 80 are in Somerset. The number employed in basket-making and kindred occupations is about 5,500, of whom 2,000 are blind persons specially trained for the work.