A partnership between the Woodland Trust and the National Trust

Barry’s Wall Turns a Corner

During the works to resurface the forest entrance at Mardon Down, a short section of stone-faced bank was removed to create a wider gateway for timber haulage vehicles. Since then, the heap of stone that was taken from the dismantled structure has been waiting to be rebuilt, waiting for skilled hands to realign the wall.

The rebuilt stone wall at the Mardon Down entrance to Fingle Woods

The rebuilt stone wall at the Mardon Down entrance to Fingle Woods

This week, experienced stone waller Barry Green started work laying the largest of the stones in the base of the wall. After a few days of work, building course upon course, the new face of the wall started to appear. Barry explained “there’s a real mixture of stone here, some pieces are local granite and others are limestone. There are even some pieces of Blue Elvan – it’s a really heavy and very hard type of rock”. The job also provides an additional challenge as the wall curves round the corner and drops down a slope.

Barry demonstrates how the assorted stone types can be crafted into a wall to stand for many years

Barry demonstrates how the assorted stone types can be crafted into a wall to stand for many years

As the wall takes shape and reaches its full height it will need back-filling with soil then blending in with the earth bank. Once the bank is completed, the new wall will green-up with wild flowers and stand proudly at the highest point of the whole site for many years to come. Barry’s work will become one of the many features of the restored Fingle Woods that will last for many generations.

by Matt Parkins

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