Students have been given a crash course in dry stone walling to help repair damaged field boundaries in the Yorkshire Dales.
Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Guild provided two instructors and a two-day course to get them all trained in the basics.
A group studying countryside management and agriculture at Harper Adams University College in Shropshire spent two days in Wensleydale learning the traditional skill – thanks to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA).
Michael Briggs, the Authority’s Area Ranger for Swaledale and Arkengarthdale, said: “The December floods caused extensive damage to the valley bottom walls at Gorton Lodge Farm.
“The landowner told us he had some willing volunteers – some of them locals – who wanted to help repair the walls but didn’t know how. The students’ courses do have some practical elements but not in dry stone walling so we approached the Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Guild through one of our Dales Volunteer to provide two instructors and a two-day course to get them all trained in the basics. The weather wasn’t brilliant but they enjoyed themselves.
“The idea was to get some of the walls fixed in time for lambing – which they did – and they are now planning to return to the farm to repair more walls.”
Student Anne Walker said: “The training course provided us with a valuable new skill and it was informative and enjoyable.
“It is very special to be able to learn a traditional skill that is in danger of dying out and the bonus of the training was that we were able to repair some of this year’s extensive winter flood damage caused by the River Swale.”
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