Gloucestershire Echo reporter Joe Lane tries out dry stone walling
I'VE walked past many a dry stone wall in my time without really stopping to think about the time and effort that goes into building them.
So when the chance to try out the ancient art of dry stone walling came up, I couldn't resist giving it a go.
Kath Wright, who was overseeing the tcourse, gave me some basic tips.
First you've got to dig a good foundation several feet into the ground, clearing away any stones or pebbles in the way.
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Then it's a case of selecting your stones very carefully, making sure the cleanest edge of each one points outwards, with smaller stones or "fill" used to pack the inside of the wall.
Patience is key. Sometimes that means trying out several different stones before settling on the right one.
It is essential to cover the joins of the row below to make sure that everything is pinned into the wall, with gravity taking care of the rest.
It's quite a slog. You can spend all day working hard at it only to have built a metre of wall.
But nonetheless, it's satisfying to think that doing a good job means it could still be standing in 200 years' time.
My efforts might not last quite so long. But it was a good workout and an interesting insight into one of Gloucestershire's oldest traditions.