International Congress 2010

Dry stone walling experts from 15 countries descended on the University of Cumbria campus in Ambleside for the 12th International Dry Stone Walling Congress held on 4 – 6 September.

Over three days 130 delegates heard about the importance of dry stone walling around the globe – from Britain, across Europe to America and Australia – from 33 speakers. A copy of the programme can be viewed here.

Cumbria Tourism Chair, Eric Robson, struck a chord with delegates in his keynote speech when he said that the cultural landscape included not just the landscape itself but the walls which framed it and the people who built the walls and lived there, and therefore their relationship with the landscape.  He also questioned why grants to urban projects were called investments but grants to rural projects were subsidies. It was time this attitude changed, he said.
During the weekend delegates enjoyed trips to Arnside and Silverdale, Great Langdale and Settle, as  well guided walks around Ambleside.  Delegates were also able to listen to local folk music provided by the Blue Jam Folk Group and purchase locally made gifts from members of Made in Cumbria.
There were also opportunities to help build a dry stone seat at the entrance to the university of campus, under the watchful eye of local mastercraftsmen Andrew Loudon and Stephen Harrison.

This was the first time that this congress had been held in the UK and the DSWA was priveledged to host the event and have the opportunity to show off the rich heritage of dry stone walls and other structures found throughout the country.

Proceedings from the congress are now available from the DSWA Office at a cost of £15 per copy plus postage, which is as follows:  £1.50 for UK, £3.50 for Europe and £6.00 for Rest of World.  Payment can be made via cheque (payable to DSWA), credit card or direct to our bank account.  Please get in touch if you require the bank details.  All payments must be in £ Sterling.  Copies will be sent out on receipt of payment.
This project was part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.  The project was delivered through the Northwest Development Agency, with Defra as the managing authority.