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European Dry Stone Issues

Discussion in Portugal

Supported by the life long learning programme through Grundtvig the EDSI project involves working with European partners to offer a great learning and personal development experience for staff and learners. The partnership sets out to encourage partners to share innovation and good practice in the delivery of dry stone wall training.  We are developing a European network which recognises the need to support the rural craft of dry stone construction which is threatened by the lack of training opportunities leading to the loss of traditional skills.  The project consists of five transnational meetings and two study visits. 

The first transnational meeting was in December 2008, in Corsica, provided an opportunity for the partners to introduce themselves, assign tasks and deliver presentations about the work they do and the training offered in each region.

The second transnational meeting was in March 2009 and was led by OCRE in Portugal.  The meeting who brought trainers together from France, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom to debate the best methods to make training relevant to adult learners.  Jimmy Scott, who has undertaken training on behalf of Solway Heritage, was the trainer representing South West Scotland.  Part of the meeting involved visiting sites of dry stone interest and of course provided more opportunities for networking and discussion.

Practice Hedge Cornwall

The third transnational meeting was a learner’s event hosted by the Cornish Hedge Research and Education Group (CHREG) in Cornwall during September 2009. The event included two days of workshops where learners were involved in the practical aspects of building the unique Cornish hedges which allowed the partners to undertake training evaluation.

The forth transnational meeting was in March 2010 and was another learner’s event. Again the visit included two days of workshops but this time in Sicily and was hosted by the two Italian partners.  This meeting provided an opportunity to compare the experience of training in Sicily with the experience in Cornwall.

Study Tour in Corsica

Study visits were also arranged to Greece and Corsica to allow participants to discover at first hand the issues concerned with dry stone walling in these places. Tours of Syros and Corsica increased our understanding of the threats to dry stone heritage and revealed the differences and similarities of issues in different partner regions.

The final evaluation seminar is taking place in Mallorca and is hosted by the Spanish partner.  Partners will makes presentations on the results of their tasks and evaluate the success of the project.

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