My working day is no different to that of any dry stone waller from the last few hundred years – apart from my truck, radio and mobile phone of course. This traditional skill requires no modern interventions, and the walls and their construction are timeless features of the Cotswolds.
With over 6000 miles of Cotswold walls to work on, no day is the same, and the English weather provides plenty of variety too. I can be on one wall for a day – a simple collapse caused by tree roots perhaps – or maybe a longer stretch of decayed wall for a few months at a time. Each stone is different, picked out from the remnants of the existing wall, or from fresh bright stone heaps delivered from the quarry.
There is always somebody or something about – walkers always ready for a chat, or horse riders trotting along. I see stoats, kingfishers, red kite, toads ( always nestling deep within the base of old walls) and lizards sunning themselves, mice and lots and lots of spiders. And nearly always there is a robin, searching for food when I am digging the ground.
Sometimes I get cold, sometimes wet and, very occasionally, hot. But always I feel satisfaction and great pleasure from my own small contributions to the Heritage of the Cotswolds.