Winter Walling in Curbar, Derbyshire.

Dry stone walling

This winter, we’ve been fixing up these old gritstone walls for stock keeping in the spring. It’s not difficult to imagine Seamus, the horse would have very easily stepped over this wall before it was repaired. Restored to former glory with the help of an English Nature rural development grant. These are available to applicants wishing to carry out works to neglected walls for the next 2 years at least. More information is available at…/hedgerows-and-boundaries-grant-countryside-stewardship

These ancient walls are set under the majestic soaring Curbar Edge, which must be one of my favourite gritstone edges in the Peak, boasting a brace of old Joe Brown and Don Whillans classic climbs like the Peapod and Left Eliminate, still seeing climbers off after 60 years.

It’s great to be able to put something back into these landscapes, and working with the massive, shapeless orbs of gritstone eventually becomes intuitive and the pieces do start to fit together!

Sandstone summer walling projects

Dry stone walling

Seems like the summer sandstone dry stone wall projects are flying off the shelf. This is for Abigail and Duncan in Bamford. turning their small wasteland into something a bit more controlled that they will now be able to manage themselves, grow some veg around and the kids will be able to enjoy playing around the garden a bit more!

Stone is new ‘out the hole’ from Ken Elliot at Shepard’s Flatt Farm at Foolow. Great for dry stone wall, good price and delivered with no fuss in to the smallest of locations! Thanks Ken. In 5 or 10 years’ time this new golden sandstone will have darkened down and gained a similar colour to the weathered local stone in the area, so is there really a point to buying in grit stone from Lancashire at over £100 a ton just for the colour? This stone is true golden Derbyshire sandstone and 150 years ago when most of the walls in Derbyshire were being built, this is what they were being built of, so in many ways, if we use this new stone instead of hankering after the weathered and worn look, we are being a lot more true to the ethos of walling, which is to use the materials of the local area in the wall.

Enjoy your wall Abigail, Duncan and family. Here’s to the next 150 years!

Hurricane Gonzalo

So the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo is coming through tonight. Wind has been howling around outside like a banshee and pretty much all the leaves will be off the trees tomorrow. Fortunately only about half the total leaves are off so far, so we won’t lose all the autumn colour in one go, as has happened in autumn gales on previous years.

Tomorrow the clear up will begin.