Living Willow Dome, UK

a living willow dome provide shelter for children to engage with nature

Collaborating with teams of volunteers from all walks of life to make a wildlife garden for the Lee Valley Nature Reserve. We volunteered our services to help manage and deliver architect Jim Ross’s design.

We first learned and then taught other volunteers how to coppice the goat willow, make willow arches, plant and construct the dome. It was wonderful community spirited project, with community groups from a diverse range of social economic backgrounds local the Hackney Marshes, East London, including schools, church, and refugee support group. 

The structure is made from a native deciduous shrub, or small tree, called Goat Willow and all the willow used for the structure was taken from the WaterWorks Nature Reserve filter beds. The flowers of goat willow, known as catkins, are full of nectar and pollen, which provide food for bumblebees and honey bees during the spring. Birds also use the structure as a safe refuge from predators.

Detail Design

Build Cost


Build Area

50 m2




Detail Design and Self Builder


Jim Ross


Over 50