Willow provides an ideal early nectar crop for honey bees and other beneficial insects. It is also a popular browse and fodder crop with most herbivores from rabbits to goats and horses. It can be used as a feed for cattle and sheep both in drought conditions and in the winter as "willage".
Willow is ideal for establishing game cover in one season . Willow can be used to create instant wildlife areas for attracting bees, insects and songbirds including rare warblers. The early catkins in March, April and May are a good source of nectar for bees. Butterflies and moths are especially attracted to the willow to lay eggs and a huge variety of caterpillars can be found on the willow during the summer months. Willow also makes a good quick growing windbreak to enable less wind tolerant plants to establish. We recommend planting 3 foot cuttings as you are unlikely to want to attempt weed control when planting for wildlife or game. Willow can be grown on wasteland to reclaim brown field sites and is grown on old landfill sites . It is used to take up heavy metals deposits on contaminated land.