Yesterday a few of us returned to Wooplaw, to have a look at some damage which had happened (or in at least one case, been done) to some of the dry stone work there. There were a couple of copes off the parapet of the dry stone bridge, which could easily have been knocked off by accident, and the recent repair we'd done on one of the backs of the triangular seat hadn't held, resulting in the whole back coming down.
It looked like someone had maybe had a go at putting it back up ...
... but it was pretty obvious that there must be a problem further down the wall, and the only thing to do was take it all down - and sure enough, at seat level there were some stones which had slipped and were sloping out of the wall.
So we leveled them off and put it back up again.
And, seeing as it was that time, tested it by eating our lunch on it.
After lunch we headed up to the cabins, where we'd build a cheek-end last year. This, and the wall behind it, and the older opposite cheek-end, and another section of the wall further up had been vandalised, with the copes and top courses thrown off the wall.
They have a bit of a problem at Wooplaw with vandalism, with trees being chopped down for firewood or even just wantonly damaged, and the huts and the toilets being broken. Their policy is to just repair things as soon as possible, thus minimising the impact the vandals can have. So we put the cheek ends back up:
And rebuilt and re-coped the wall.
The damaged section further up was opposite where the path from the top car park comes in, so we reckoned perhaps the wall had partly been damaged there by people just climbing over (saving themselves all of 30 yards of walking by doing so), though at least some of the damage looked pretty deliberate (you can't really accidentally push a three or four stone rock off a wall). Anyway, we decided we might as well put a proper gap in, and see if that survived any better. We were helped in this by the previous builder providing us with a conveniently placed running joint beside a through - the resulting end was a bit scrappy, and not as strong as a proper cheek-end, but it might be OK (vandals permitting).
We're back at Wooplaw again in July, so we'll see if this lot of repairs has lasted any better than the last lot.
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).