Richmond’s amazing wall. . .

Volunteers hard at work on the wall on the edges of Richmond.
Volunteers hard at work on the wall on the edges of Richmond.

IT may not be quite as long as Hadrian’s stone edifice but for a local land charity the rebuilding of a stretch of wall on the outskirts of Richmond has required a similar amount of effort.

The wall in question has been the project of the Richmondshire Landscape Trust since the beginning of 2008 when the charity decided to rebuild a section of dry stone wall that borders three of the pieces of land that it owns and manages around the town.

Measuring 400 metres in length, the wall has been re-constructed by volunteers from the Trust under the direction of the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain.

It is estimated that well over 150 people have been involved in the project over the past four years, ranging from those who had scarcely touched a stone before to experienced wallers.

One of the main features of the wall is a specially constructed seat – a magnificent structure standing over two metres high and of semi-circular shape.

It houses a time capsule presented by children from Richmond Methodist School who chose items such as drawings, photographs, maps, toys and even a school sweatshirt, that represent life today.

Elaine Wood, who is a member of both the Richmondshire Landscape Trust and the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain, said: “It is such a fantastic achievement to have completed this project which represents a real community effort, ranging from schoolchildren to those in their retirement.

“Many people have literally spent hundreds of hours of hard labour on the wall and it is testimony to their dedicated work and commitment,” she added.

The wall borders three areas of land owned by the charity on the western edge of the town – Westfields, Jack Kings Wood and the Nine Acre Field. It lies just to the side of the popular Coast to Coast footpath, and the seat in particular provides a vantage point from which to admire the spectacular views of the castle and other Richmond landmarks.

The wall also includes a stile and many cheek ends.

To help people gain the skills needed to carry out the project, the two organisations have run several training courses over the years to teach dry stone walling skills.

Other people have just turned up on the working days and lent a hand to move pieces of stone from one place to another.

This is one of several projects being undertaken by the charity to maintain and improve the land in its care.

Other initiatives include planting new hedgerows and trees; weed control, boundary maintenance and the creation of a wildlife corridor on Westfields.

The Trust is always looking for extra help with its land maintenance projects and welcomes new ideas and suggestions.

For further information, please call Jacqui Singleton Turner on 01748 822863 or Elaine Wood on 01748 823108.