Residential Dry Stone Walling

Buckden, Upper Wharfedale

Tuesday 17th September to Friday 20th September. 

This was the first time we had held a mid-week residential, dictated by the availability of the accommodation. It's shame it didn't suit everyone who was interested as we had a glorious few days in Buckden. 

Each wall has it's particular challenges, but this one seemed fairly daunting when we decided the best course of action was to re-lay the line slightly in order to cope with the adjacent tree. We had to unearth the foundation stones and relocate them. It's a while since we have needed to do this when we have been gapping up. At lunch time on Wednesday when we still hadn't started building upwards it was slightly worrying, but in the end the hard graft but definitely worth the effort and it turned out to be just the right amount of work for us for a leisurely finish on Friday lunchtime. 

The stone was fairly cobbley and large, so once we got onto it we made good progress upwards. Admirable attention was paid to creating a sound corner where it linked in to the remaining wall by the tree. The height achieved should be adequate to control the stock in the field so eventually the fence could be removed (once a few other repairs are made). And, for the first time when we have repaired a wall, we used every stone, not a single one left over. 

We enjoyed the best of September weather, dry and warm all week. We had a BBQ on Thursday evening, sitting out until sunset (though suffering from the midges). A week later the World Championship cyclists passed within feet of our work and the views from the cameras (limited to shots from motorbikes, rather than helicopter shots of the valley) showed flooded fields; I don't think we would have been able to get to the wall let alone have such a great few days. 

I'm sure there are plenty more walls for us to tackle, so let us know if you are interested in a future trip.