Dry stone walls are called 'dry' because no cement is used in their construction. Originally built as shelter and to enclose livestock, and were built from stones found in the near location. Now more normally an activity of rural conservation.
The Association has 1200 members throughout Britain - many belong to local branches. The branches organise a range of activities including training courses open to all and practice meets for their members
Dry stone walls are found in many parts of Britain - and overseas - wherever field, mountain or quarried stone is plentiful. Walls can be built of most types of stone - the skill is in making the best use of what is available.
There is no age restriction to dry stone walling, providing the safety aspects of handling often sharp and heavy stones are observed.
Anyone who can lift and handle the often heavy stones can learn the skill of dry stone walling. The basic principles can be learnt very quickly, to build a wall that both looks attractive and will last for future generations takes much experience.
Base stones are laid. These are large stones which carry the weight of the wall. A stone wall tapers inwards from the base, Courses of the wall are then built up. Stones are laid with the long side going into the wall. The gap in the middle of the wall is filled with small stones called 'middles'. The top course is called a Coverhand, it strengthens the wall and keeps the weather out. made of large stones running across the wall, and protrude slightly to prevent sheep from climbing over the wall
The DSWA works to improve knowledge and understanding of the craft. It produces a series of information leaflets, practical books on the craft and promotes walling competitions and courses. There is also a national, graded, craft skills certification scheme.
Although there are dry stone walling competitions, to most Waller's the satisfaction comes from creating a useful piece of rural art that will survive for the benefit of future generations.
Closely related activities to dry stone walling are other rural crafts and environmental conservation.
You can join the dry stone Waller's association, all are welcome. There is an annual subscription fee for open members of £20 and for professional wallers of £50 ( year 2005 rates).
Level of Demand
The table below shows the maximum levels of demand that this activity requires. NOTE: These are not entry levels or levels of requirement and has nothing to do with ability.
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