As luck would have it, a few days after discovering the collapsed dry stone wall in the woods we arranged with someone from the village to deal with the repairs. Barely a couple of days later they arrived and got all the repair work completed in around half a day!
Given more time I’m sure I could have done the work myself (eventually) but it would have taken me days or even weeks because there are always many other jobs on my To-Do list. I’d been meaning to move the pigs to an electric fenced pen close to this area and that meant I couldn’t really afford to wait too long to get the wall fixed.
I’m really pleased with the results and I’ll happily admit that it looks better than anything I could have done. Our neighbour is probably also happy because his sheep can go back in the adjoining field.
Last Sunday afternoon the 2 cows (Daisy and Nellie) got a pleasant surprise when the bull (Glen) arrived. He is a fine looking beast but still remarkably placid and easily managed – just make sure you don’t get between him and his chosen girlfriend!
He very soon chose Nellie as his ‘best girl’ and stuck closely to her all the time which understandably meant that Daisy was left out of things for a while. Eventually Glen did make more of an effort to show Daisy some attention so she’s a little bit happier about his being here now.
However it was Oscar (Nellies calf) who suffered the most in the beginning because he wasn’t allowed anywhere near Nellie for a few days and this effectively completed the weaning process. This was probably a little overdue as he is 8 months old now but he is an opportunist and if the milk was on offer then he made sure he got some!
Even after a week here, both the calves will occasionally try to boss Glen around but he’s quite happy to firmly show them who’s the boss while being gentle enough that they don’t get hurt.
While on the hunt for the missing chicken eggs that aren’t getting laid in the nest box, I came across a major problem with our dry stone wall boundary in the woods.
As far as I can tell this must have happened in the last day or two but I can’t be certain as the ground dips down suddenly here. As a result, it’s possible to go into the woods on the way to feed the pigs without even noticing that anything is wrong down the bottom of the hill.
Luckily we don’t have any livestock in this part of the woods although I was considering extending the pig electric fencing to here in the next week or two. Perhaps more importantly though, it’s fortunate that our neighbour has already moved his sheep out of the field on the other side!
I’m perfectly happy to take on any minor walling repairs and I would even consider tackling a small rebuild but this is a bit more than that. After pacing out a quick measurement it seems that the main damage covers around 4-5 metres but any repairs would need to include some rebuilding on each side too.
Luckily it’s clear from these pictures that all the existing stones from the section that collapsed should be reusable. We also have a small supply of extras stashed away for just such an occurrence which helps to keep the repair costs down.
It’s definitely time to get in touch with the Dry Stone Walling Association to find a professional though – not least because they’ll be so much quicker than me and besides I don’t think I can spare the time anyway!