A Series of UK recognised qualifications in dry stone walling
The Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain Craftsman Certification Scheme, run in conjunction with Lantra Awards, offers a series of nationally recognised qualifications in dry stone walling at Levels 1 (Initial), 2 (Intermediate) and 3 (Advanced). Full details of the scheme are available in the Craftsman Certification Scheme booklet available on the DSWA website: www.dswa.org.uk
The Professional Qualification of Dry Stone Builder was officially approved in Spain last 24 November 2020. This qualification regulates the skills required for professional builders that they can acquire either by attending training courses or through work experience. This approval has been possible thanks to the task carried out by a Qualification Working Group at the state level, which included technicians and dry stone builders of Consell de Mallorca, who succeeded to define the Competence Units and the associated Training Modules.
Needless to say, last year has been a challenge. We are happy and thankful that with all the obstacles, with some minor program adjustments, we managed to have a rich dry stone season. The association performed most of its activities thanks to the long-term volunteering of its members. Public activism in preserving cultural heritage is growing steadily and our outdoor activities additionally attracted their interest.
Knocktinkle viewpoint provides a panoramic view of the countryside near Gatehouse of Fleet. In November 2020 the Gatehouse Development Initiative arranged for the repair of the drystone wall surrounding the view point.
In February 2020 the Fleet Valley volunteers began work to clear vegetation from the boundary walls at the historic Carstramon Wood but due to Covid 19 it was not possible to organise training days on wall restoration. However, the Scottish Wildlife Trust has been able to use funds, which were intended for volunteer activities to carry our wall repairs. Some large trees which had fallen on the walls have been removed and sections of wall repaired.
A short film of a drystone training week in 2019 for Forestry and Land Scotland apprentices which was organised by Gatehouse Development Initiative as part of an Erasmus+ Project. The apprentices dismantled and reconstructed a dmaged section of wall, learning a range of dyking skills in the process.