Rebuilding the dry stone wall at Springvale

The dry stone wall at Springvale is a fine structure. Built by the waterboard many years ago it is a long and tall wall that separates the Springvale site from the woodland above.

Part of the wall was in a collapsed state when the partnership acquired Springvale – it was thought that the roots of a mature Oak tree had dislodged stones. Much of the wall was laying on the bank, and getting in the way of us planting an orchard there, so aside from looking a mess the stone was taking up valuable growing space. Something had to be done.

Laying out the stones before building

We contacted Les Young of Hadrian’s Dry Stone Walls, and enlisted him for training and supervising a group of volunteers to rebuild the wall at the same time as learning a new skill. Les is a real dry stone walling enthusiast and we all have thoroughly enjoyed the last couple of of months working under his supervision to build layer after layer of wall. The coping stones that form the top layer have recently gone on, and we have fiddled about with a difficult sloping section that reconnects the old wall with the new section.

The wall is now finished! And I am convinced none of us will ever be able to look at a stone again without thinking how it would sit in a dry stone wall. There is a lot of thinking and planning involved in the skill and all volunteers have commented on how incredibly absorbing it is. We still have a lot of stone remaining, and we can’t wait to get started on something else!


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