Thanks to good weather, great support from the Friends of the Pentlands (FotP) members and a good supply of building stone and hearting from Murray, the local farmer, on Sunday Dave and Richard managed to complete the wall by 3 pm. There was a useful supply of pre-cut copes available on site which made the final stage easier and quicker than expected. All that remains is for the FotP to go back on 6 May to assist with back filling and possible seeding with butterfly-friendly flowers and this wall will merge back into the landscape along with the wall we built last year.
Last year we worked with our long-time allies, the Friends of the Pentlands (FotP) to build a section of retaining wall on the Pentland Way at Garvald, near Dolphinton in the Scottish Borders. This year we're back again to complete the next section of the wall.
I'm happy to say last year's section is still intact, and looking good:
This year we're building a similar length to the right of the above, on the other side of the access path that runs up to the walk from Garvald farm. When we arrived yesterday, the FotP had already got some stone delivered to the site, and had dug a trench where the wall was to be situated.
The first job was to move the two huge stones in the foreground in the above photo into position. The FotP had spoken to the farmer about where they wanted them, he having a fork lift to do the job, but there had been some misunderstanding so some manual labour was required to re-position them. Once this had been achieved, one team got on with building the corner
while another started half way along the wall, where there were water pipes running just below. In order to prevent the weight of a few tons of stone pressing on the pipes, a culvert was constructed in the bottom of the wall using a large flat stone.
The forecast rain stayed away for the morning, and good progress was made by both teams.
By lunchtime the teams had almost met up, and the foundation course of the wall was nearly complete.
After lunch the rain started, but it was only a few drops - almost refreshing after lifting several tons of stone into the wall. The last few stones joining the two sections were inserted, and building continued on the upper courses.
By 4 pm we were just about up to through level, and ready to knock off for the day. Some of the FotP were camping at the site, and preparations for their evening's barbecue were getting under way, while those of us who had to leave headed off.
Work is due to resume today, and next weekend if needed - hopefully I'll have some photos of the completed wall soon.
On 18/19 March John and Richard and then Dave and Richard completed the retaining wall with stone sourced by Bruce from a supplier who deals in sand and gravel.
Although the stones are quite rounded they fit together quite pleasingly, as you can see.
This blog, and the rest of the site, are produced by Donald McInnes, treasurer of the SES DSWA (I'm the baldy one, sometimes in a saltire hat).