I started walling as child. Working on my parents and Grandparents sheep farm in the Pennines there was always dry stone walls which needed to be repaired. Some of my earliest childhood memories working on the farm where helping my Grandad repair field wall.
He would have me doing the simple jobs like putting the hearting or filler in the middle of the wall.
Unlike many other professions which have to change, due to the advancement in technology, dry stone walling is exactly the same as it was century's back.
Dry stone walling is often passed down from one generation to the next through apprenticeships or family traditions. Historically, dry stone walling was an essential skill in rural communities, and many families would pass down their knowledge and techniques from one generation to the next.
In some areas, there are still families and communities where dry stone walling is a valued tradition and cultural practice, and younger generations are taught the skills and techniques needed to continue the tradition. These informal apprenticeships may involve working alongside experienced wallers and learning through observation, practice, and hands-on experience.
In addition to informal apprenticeships, there are also formal training programs and courses available for those who wish to learn the craft of dry stone walling. These programs may be offered through organizations such as the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain or the Dry Stone Conservancy in the United States, and may include both theoretical and practical instruction.
Overall, whether through informal apprenticeships or formal training programs, the skills and techniques of dry stone walling continue to be passed down from one generation to the next, preserving this important and traditional craft for future generations.
I often get asked how long it would take some one to learn to become a proficient dry stone waller.
I pretty much learnt 'on the job' but have since been on training courses.
The length of time it takes to train as a dry stone waller can vary depending on a number of factors, including the level of experience and skill of the trainee, the amount of time devoted to training, and the specific training program or course that is undertaken.
Some people may be able to develop basic dry stone walling skills through informal apprenticeships or on-the-job training, while others may choose to pursue more formal training programs through organizations such as the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain.
Formal training programs can range in duration from a few days to several weeks or months, depending on the level of instruction and the scope of the curriculum. Some programs may focus on basic skills and techniques, while others may offer more advanced training in areas such as wall design, restoration, or landscaping.
Ultimately, the amount of time it takes to train as a dry stone waller will depend on the individual's goals, the level of proficiency they wish to achieve, and the opportunities and resources available to them. It is important to note that dry stone walling is a skill that takes time and practice to master, and ongoing training and experience are essential for continued improvement and success.