Dry stone walls to be built by ex-prisoners in UK drive to preserve traditional skills
It is an ancient craft that dates back to the Iron Age, and characterises across vast swathes of rural Britain from the Cornish countryside to the Scottish Highlands.
Now dry stone walls will be built by ex-prisoners in the UK as part of a £10 million drive to stop traditional skills dying out.
A new pot of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund will be used to support training up a new generation of workers in traditional crafts, such as rigging, repairing traditional wooden sailing ships, and working on heritage railway attractions.
The money is aimed at addressing critical shortages in the sector, and will be used to train a new and more diverse group of heritage workers, including ethnic minorities, women, young people as well as ex-servicemen and ex-offenders.
Local people will be able to train as shipwrights in traditional skills which are under threat of being lost, such as rigging and repair of wooden ships, while trainees from areas of high unemployment will learn how to overhaul steam locomotives and ships.
Wildlife organisations will help train youngsters, those with disabilities and people with an ethnic minority background to learn nature conservation skills.
Museums will be using a share of the funding to teach cutting edge heritage skills, including conserving and digitising collections and engaging with the public.
Dry stone walling in Britain can be traced back three and a half millennia, to the village of Skara Brae in the Orkneys, and the Iron Age brochs of northern and western Scotland.