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Withy pots have been recorded in old painting dating from 400 years ago, but the craft would go back further as humans have used traps to catch fish and crabs since we first inhabited our shore line. The problem with a definitive date is nothing was written down in the regions or families… it was learnt from father to son, although in some areas the wives also made them. Fish traps have been found in peat bogs.

All of our coastline had these withy pots up until the late 1960s but demand for saving time in their making and needing stronger pots which could withstand attaching multiple pots together in a line (string of pots) which withy pots would not be able to withstand, meant changing to wire and net pots then the plastic ones you see today.

The withy pot had a life span of just over one season with ongoing repairs meaning every winter you started all over again. Unless you had a withy bed to cut your withies from you had to purchase them, normally from Somerset at some expense.

Dave French and Sarah Ready are now underway with working to revive the craft, to ensure that the tradition lives on, not just in Devon where they are both based, but around coastal communities further afield.