Dry stone walls come under scrutiny

Darlington and Stockton Times: Current CLA Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling champion Michael Coggins. Current CLA Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling champion Michael Coggins.

THE search has been launched to find the best exponent of one of Yorkshire’s truly rural crafts – dry stone walling.

The CLA has launched its 2014 Dry Stone Wall Competition, an event aimed at preserving the ancient skill.

The biennial competition recognises and rewards the people behind the miles of distinctive walls that define the county’s famous landscapes and is held in association with the Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Guild.

CLA regional director Dorothy Fairburn said: “This competition is all about real farmers and land managers building real walls in the countryside as opposed to just a temporary section at a show.

“It is a great opportunity to promote and reward the skills and achievements of those who work to preserve Yorkshire’s distinctive dry stone walls and ensure the continuation of the craft.”

Marks are awarded for use of local style, impact on the landscape, tidiness and difficulty of terrain. The winner receives the perpetual challenge trophy – an engraved glass walling stone.

The current title holder is Ingleton man Michael Coggins, who impressed judges with 10 metres of dry stone wall he built at a farm near Horton-in-Ribblesdale.

The competition is open to all wallers who live and work in Yorkshire and is free to enter. Entry forms are available by emailing north@cla.org.uk or contacting 01748-907070.

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