As this time of year approaches many creatures use drystone walls for hibernation, especially frogs and toads. They are always so sleepy as I carefully carry them over to another section of wall for them to crawl into.
I've had some really interesting jobs this autumn, below are a few of the highlights... Facing a block wall with offcuts in order to hide the oil bund. (see gallery to see before and afters!) It looks so much better now... Building walls on a new housing estate, a really different working environment! Rebuilding a very tall (7ft) granite wall at an Abbey in Leicestershire, had to use tower scaffold to reach the top! A lovely curved wall made with local sandstone...curves are always a little more challenging, but this one looks great! Awaiting copestones as owner is debating whether to use traditional copes or flat ones...
Have had a really busy summer promoting dry stone walling at various shows around Derbyshire and Staffordshire on behalf of DDSWA ( Derbyshire Dry Stone Walling Association ) Had the opportunity to use different local materials including granite which isn't often found in Derbyshire! Ashby Magna Show 2015 Derbyshire County Show - Alvaston, 2015 Chatsworth Show 2015 The main feature, a tribute to the late Dowager Duchess, built by the Derbyshire Branch of the DSWA.
Just finished a lovely job rebuilding a wall and adding steps so the owner could access the land below the wall. HUGE stone needed to make the steps! very heavy...never be in doubt that we women can move heavy stone when we need to! Wall collapsed... Some great stone available for steps...it has to be long enough to form a step either side of the wall. The finished wall...still needing copes but with steps in place!
Been a busy month or so...dodging snow, stone stuck together with ice...hmmm, that was a new one! and now the purchase of large tarps so I can continue even when it snows! Unfortunately a jcb had been used to take down this field wall...they had also scraped a large amount of earth over the stone so the first day was spent digging the stone out from the earth before I could grade it! Finally finished with 3 stones left over!!! Remember the asbestos wall..as in asbestos stops play...or rather, walling? Lovely stone but not used well to strengthen wall as much of it had been stood on it's side rather than length in - this would indicate that they were short of stone on building it. Rebuilt whilst trying to use original faces so it maintains it's established look rather than a repaired gap...which of course is what it is! Similarly on the inside tried to retain the green face so it looks established and the moss and other lichens will grow back quickly
This is one of the recent walls I've been working on, and it's clear why it's starting to twist bend and fall over! No 'hearting' so nothing to give strength to the insides...seems to be a common fault in walls! Quite easy to see the effect of this tree on the wall even though we can't see the actual roots This wall will fall given the ongoing action of the tree and the fact that there's no internal strength!