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Willing Wallers Wanted

Monday 6th March 2017

Learn how to manage and repair Derbyshire dry stone walls, Rachel CostiganDerbyshire dry stone walls, Rachel Costigan

DerwentWISE are running a one day free surveying workshop with expert wallers ‘Walls for the Future’ on 25th March for anyone who is able to help us record the condition of the walls in the Middleton area.

Dry stone walls are one of the defining features of the landscape of the hills around Derbyshire. They mark the history of the landscape, and if you know how to read them, they give us an insight into how the land was once farmed - often many centuries ago.

“Walking the fields around Middleton-by-Wirksworth you will soon encounter examples of different field patterns: from large fields claimed after the Land Enclosures Act of 1773, to more ancient, irregular shaped fields nearer the village. At the base of some of them are boundary stones that have probably been there since the 1400s.”  said Trevor Wragg, Walls for the Future.

The DerwentWISE project, which aims to conserve landscape features in the Lower Derwent Valley is looking to restore some of these valuable heritage features. Rachel Costigan, DerwentWISE Community Engagement Officer (Cultural Heritage) said, “The way we farm these days means that many old fields are being used as one enclosure. Dry stone walls are time consuming and costly to repair, and landowners find it hard just to maintain the boundary walls, so the history on the hills is slowly tumbling down.”

For those who want to get hands on there is a practical training course on the 1st and 2nd April 2017 for the subsidised price of £10. It’s open both to landowners who would like to develop skills to maintain limestone walls, and people who would be interested in joining a volunteer team to repair walls in the Middleton area. To book call Derbyshire Wildlife Trust on 01773 881188.