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Master craftspeople from the Rural Skills Hub led a two-day training programme building dry stone walls and planting hedgerows at Abbeystead Estate, promoting traditional skills which contribute to enhancing the environment.
The Rural Skills Hub is a Defra-run scheme with experts from the Dry Stone Walling Association and the National Hedgelaying Society providing the programme. While training is available through funding from Defra, the estate hosted and funded the event itself.
The environmental benefit of hedgerows – often described as nature’s highways – and dry stone walls, which provide a habitat that supports a wide range of plants, insects and even small mammals, is widely recognised, but people with the expertise to maintain and install new boundaries are becoming scarcer.
About 20 people took part in the training which will help manage these important traditional assets as well as encourage rural skills and enterprise on the estate.