Alongside the hundreds of little stone buildings that are dotted all over the Yorkshire Dales, the thousands of miles dry stone walls are an equally important feature of the landscape. And whereas the buildings (or cowus’es) are almost totally redundant, the walls are essential to the smooth running of the farm and the flock.
The walls not only enclose the meadows and pastures but snake ever upwards to create the fell wall, the final boundary between in-by land and the open moor.
They are fascinatingly individual and incorporate features such as stiles, thru’les or smoot holes. And what is this strange segment? If walls could talk!
Maintaining and repairing the miles of walls on the farm is an invaluable skill and is something that has been passed down the generations to Chris. Chris recently rebuilt this section of wall. It is now strong and straight and will eastily stand for another 100 years.
Besides forming boundaries the walls are home to insects, small mammals and birds. They are strong and weather proof providing shelter for our sheep from adverse weather. Perhaps most importantly they provide a private place, away from the rest of the flock, for ewes to safely give birth to their lambs.