York & North Yorkshire

Yorkshire Dales walls destroyed in floods rebuilt by volunteers

Wallathon Reeth Image copyright Scenic View Gallery
Image caption Dry stone wallers have rebuilt walls near Reeth in North Yorkshire

More than 100 volunteers have helped to rebuild 225m of walls destroyed by flooding earlier this year.

The Dry Stone Walling Association (DSWA) said the 'Reeth Wallathon' was a "fantastic success" with other people also helping to carry, lift and position the stones.

About 3,500m (11,483 ft) of walls need to be rebuilt, with the wallers beating their 200m target by 25m.

The DSWA said farmers in Reeth, North Yorkshire, were "incredibly grateful".

It added: "The impact of the July floods on the area was significant, with loss of farmers' livestock, dry stone walls, fencing, and winter fodder, as well as causing huge damage to the fields, roads and tracks."

The DSWA's Ray Stockall said it was a "small step on the road to recovery" for the community and some things would take "months if not years" to return to normal.

Image copyright Mike Kitson
Image caption Volunteers had repaired 225m of the wall by the end of Sunday
Image copyright Scenic View Gallery
Image caption Dry stone wallers and "non-wallers" alike met to rebuild walls destroyed by floods in July

Wallers came from across the UK to help, including from western Scotland and south-west England - and in total 225m (738ft) of dry stone walls were rebuilt.

Peter Isherwood, a master craftsman waller, said he took part because it was "so important for communities to come together and help each other in times of crisis".

"There's been a great team spirit this weekend and a willingness to work together to get the job done," he said.

Linda Clarkson, from the DSWA, said local farmers provided volunteers with food and refreshments over the weekend.

"A lot of land was contaminated by water from lead mines on the fells, so farmers had to plough and re-seed," she said.

"By rebuilding the walls too we've saved them a lot more expense."

The DSWA said it would train young dry stone wallers for a similar event in the spring.

Image copyright Scenic View Gallery
Image caption It was organised by the Dry Stone Walling Association and the Prince's Countryside Fund

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