Volunteers from the Mendip Hills AONB Unit came first, third and fourth at the 150th Annual Mendip Society Ploughing Match dry stone walling competition on Wednesday 25th September.
The volunteers provide a skill and a service that is essential to preserving the art of dry-stone walling and have all been trained by members of the Dry-Stone Walling Association to the ‘Mendip’ standard. They have been working all over the AONB to mend Mendip and this gave them the chance to showcase their skills in a competition. The AONB Unit, along with Yeo Valley, also sponsored the walling competition in the Ploughing Match.
Dry stone walling is an important part of the cultural heritage on Mendip and one of the landscapes ‘special qualities’ which has resulted in the areas designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The walls also provide habitat to a variety of wildlife including adders which are a protected species.
Lauren Holt, Ranger for Mendip Hills AONB team says, ‘We are dedicated as a team on Mendip to restoring and protecting dry stone walls. It was fantastic to see so many of our volunteer wallers representing the Mendip Hills AONB at this community event, it really demonstrates how integral our volunteers are to the community. We’re very proud of how far they’ve all come.’
Mike Gooding secured first place in the novice category with Dave Tranter placing third and John Steers following closely behind in 4th. As their first time ever entering as competitors the volunteers did exceptionally well.
Mike’s success enables him to move up to the professional walling category next year and he secured himself a £50 cash prize and a box of Mallets Cider. Cash prizes were given to all the wallers for their efforts and a fantastic community day was had by everyone.
If you’d like to find out more about dry stone walling and volunteering with the Mendip Hills AONB contact email@example.com