Monday, 31 January 2011

Stone Wall Regeneration

One of the really great aspects of our Higher Level Stewardship agreement is the additional help and funding to repair some of our worst stone walls.  Many of the walls were erected in the 1920's during the great depression, where labour was cheap and the raw materials were available within the fields or dug up from the on farm quarries.  Now after nearly 100 years of rain, snow, frost and sunshine damage some are really starting to show their age and in need of repair. The frost damage really causes the damage where the walls sag and can't shed the water allowing it to seep into the centre of the wall where is freezes and thaws, gradually causing the stones to crumble and the wall to collapse.
Stone walling is a very skilled and papainstakingly slow operation hence the large costs involved in restoration.  A typical wall, if you are using a proportion of new stone will cost somewhere in the region of £100/meter.  This would include the toppers and the top wire used to try and keep the deer from leaping over the wall knocking it down.  Our walls are being repaired by Matthew Fergyson who is based at Guiting Power.  This is Nathan, who works with Matthew, who has stripped down a section of wall and is now rebuilding it.  The almost final result is shown below, (minus the top wires)
For those of yo who regularly walk on Bredon Hill this wall is located near Sundial barn, shown above.   The wall is about 450m long and runs along side a public footpath, so you are welcome to go and see the progress for yourselves.  You might even give Matthew and Nathan some encouragement as they are there is all weathers!

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