Stonewalling at Tamar Lakes-18th April 2015

Pea started off from Plymouth brighter, sleepier & even earlier than usual today
as we had a long drive down to Tamar Lakes near Bude in Cornwall for a session of stone walling!

Luckily thanks to a local charity shop we had a choice range of music to
 keep us occupied on the journey.

After much laughter of bouncing between the Cornwall & Devon borders,
 we eventually arrived at Tamar lakes.

After stretching our legs and gratefully utilising the facilities, 
we laid out the specialised kit that we would be using for today's stonewalling work.

Now it's time for 

Got that song playing in your head already haven't you?!

Still need to work on that beard Chris....

Um..maybe point the wand up Pete?

With the tool talk over we slapped on some 
sunscreen... some more than others-before heading down to the site..

After many years this old stonewall was in serious need of some TLC!

Luckily our very own Chris Bond is an experienced stonewaller & even runs his own Stonewalling/Hedgelaying business so we were in good hands for being shown the ropes.... or rocks to be more precise! :D

Our first task was to strip away all the bulging and 
buckled areas of the wall...

As well as many years of water run off wearing the wall apart, another major culprit to this wall wearing were the enormous roots on your every day weeds!

These 'little' fellas had buried themselves deep into the wall, forcing themselves
 into the narrow gaps between the stones, eventually causing the wall to collapse. 

Once de-stoned & weeded, we proceed in cutting out a nice straight face 
along the bank in order for the stones to be built up against.

Next it was onto constructing a firm solid, base along the bottom of the bank in order to stabilise the the many layers of upcoming soil and stones. 

Here you can see Pete compacting the soil between each layer to create a natural 'cement-like' seal between the stones to help strengthen the wall.


What? Oh nothing Esther..Keep up the good work!

After a busy morning of stripping back and creating a stable base line, 
our stone wall restoration was starting to take shape!

Now how often can you say you have lunch by a lake? Beautiful! 

The girls couldn't resist having a paddle...

Back to work!

What's that Esther? You got soil down your trousers? 
Now how could that have happened?...

We found this little guy hiding in one of our soil buckets-It's a little Toad!

Soon the day had come to an end, and though there was still more work left to be done on the wall,
we all agreed we had made a great start on restoring it!

There really is something beautiful about seeing all these natural lines and forms of the rocks arranged into something that can last for literally hundreds of years, with just soil holding it all together!

It was a very long but fun day for all us...

Though quite knackering....

And yet we still managed about 50 games of 'Eye-spy' on the journey home...
Seriously who keeps a 'pencil' in eyesight on a bus?!

Michael Gamble-PEA Team

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