Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fixing the Dyke

This is a short video clip about fixing a gap in a 'dyke' in Glen Lyon. Dyke is the word for dry stone wall in Scotland . They are still very much needed here in Glen Lyon not just to contain the sheep along the valley but also to keep the deer out. This section of the wall, though not fallen over yet, had a bad lean in it because of a huge ash tree root which had growing under it.

After discussing what needed to be done with the grounds keeper we took all the stones down, carefully chopped out the root and then rebuilt it properly using the same local mica schist 'stanes' from the wall which was originally built over a hundred years ago. We used an extra thoughstone which we found and rolled down from the hill directly above the gap. Norman calls this Big Rock Rolling. (I may post a video of this on another blog) We coped the wall with turf that Norman had carefully cut (in rectangles and at angles) out of the ground not far from the wall, the day before we finished the gap. He puts one layer on upside down and then another the right way up with a slight diagonal overlap. The turf is much thicker than the rolls you buy at a garden center.

Norman has built and repaired miles and miles of thse walls all along the valley over the last 30 years.

Dave Goulder (another very good dry stane dyker) provides the music for this video. You can order his music online.