We were delighted to have the opportunity to promote the work of the Branch through a Public Engagement Day at Murton Nature Reserve. We decided to call this day ‘Stonefest’, remembering past successful events under the same name. Planning began several months beforehand and many hours were spent pouring over old photographs, choosing those which fitted in best to particular categories and thinking of appropriate captions.
We were met with a fine day, not too warm, eight trusty wallers, and large amounts of nice stone looked out for us. A member of staff checked on our numbers for lunch, arranged as usual for 12.30, and another, a weekend volunteer who knew a bit about walling, offered his services with a tractor for a short spell in case anything was needed. Gregor suggested moving some of the bigger stone down the wall a bit with the next stretch in prospect for September, and this was duly done. A good start!Continue reading
Camserney is well known to members for its enormous stone. This time was no different and we had to struggle to move some enormous boulders, lining them up to make a stable base for the section in need to repair.Continue reading
It was an enthusiastic bunch of eight trainees from all corners of our area and beyond, who arrived at South Mains for the first course of the year. Kate welcomed the group and Stuart McDonald, instructor for the day, led them through the various stages of building a wall. Daan had done a wonderful job of setting out pallets of stone at both sides of the wall and he and Kirsty continued to provide whatever was required throughout the day.Continue reading
We arrived when the new and very imposing gates opened at 9.30. This much safer access from a small road behind the gardens is clearly signed. Our remit was to continue restoring an old overgrown and crumbled wall. Extra stone had been brought from their quarry site. Sadly we had been unable to choose the stone and much of it was monstrous and covered in mud and we still had to barrow it to our work site.Continue reading
We were pleased to receive an invite from the Monachyle Mhor hotel management in Balquidder to take part in a rural skills weekend on Saturday 30th March. Stephen Donne, professional waller, had agreed to demonstrate hedge laying and I agreed to take up the challenge of a wall demo.Continue reading
We returned to Craighall Den in mid October to continue the wall begun in July. On Saturday there were five members working alongside five Countryside Trust Volunteers with Calum instructing.
Having got over our initial disappointment that we weren’t going to be able to finish off the work on a retaining wall begun by Stuart McDonald and 8 apprentices on the Friday, there being no earth to fill in the bed and not enough stones for covers, we got started on a further section of the car park wall, lining up with the trainees’ section.