The NTS Lothian Conservation Volunteers (CV’s) arrived at Threave Estate Nature Reserve on the weekend of 8th and 9th of Feb, to try their hand at some Dry Stone Walling. They got a bit more than they bargained for though, having to contend with horizontal rain, strong winds and mud, lots and lots of mud all day Saturday.
Saturday morning kicked off with a briefing on Health and safety, tools talk, and a chat about walling. You cannot talk about walling really; it’s a case of just having a go, so we pressed on despite the weather.
A couple of the team had been along to a walling weekend before, so the team was split, some placing top stones on, and the rest sripping out a fallen down section and rebuilding.
The day was cut short due to the weather conditions.
On Sunday morning the option was given whether to carry on or not. The CV’s unanimously voted to carry on. So with some extra health and safety advice we carried on.
In the morning we took down some tin sheets to lay out the stone on, so they did’nt disappear in the mud. Up until Tea time it rained, and then faired up, which was fantastic.
All in all, the team made a fantastic job of the wall, which in fact is an on going project, which solely CVs have been working on over a couple of years.
This time of year is the best time for us to do Walling, as the farmers have removed stock from the feilds. Later in the year the D&G Ranger Team have other priorities.
Once the project is finished, it will be an effective barrier for stock, wildlife corridor and linnear feature, plus a Historical landscape feature.
My heart felt thanks go out to the Lothian CVs, and i’m very, very impressed with their attitude overall during the weekend. Not forgetting Clare Hickson, who could not make it, but sent a lovely cake J J J J