Competition aims to reward craftsmen behind iconic landscape

24 March 2016

A competition to reward the craftsmen responsible for maintaining Yorkshire’s iconic dry stone walls has been launched by the CLA.

The organisation, which represents thousands of landowners, farmers and rural businesses in the region, has launched its 2016 Dry Stone Wall Competition.

Aimed at preserving the county’s ancient craft of dry stone walling, the biennial competition recognises and rewards the people behind the miles of distinctive walls that define Yorkshire’s famous landscapes.

Held in association with the Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Guild, the competition judges new or rebuilt walls in the countryside and is not a contest between wallers building temporary short stretches.

CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn said: “This competition recognises and rewards farmers and land managers who spend years maintaining and building real walls in the countryside as opposed to just a temporary section at a show.

“It is also a celebration of the skills and achievements of those who work, often in extremely testing conditions, to preserve Yorkshire’s distinctive dry stone walls and ensure the continuation of the craft.”

Marks are awarded for use of local style, impact on the landscape, tidiness and difficulty of terrain. The winner receives the perpetual challenge trophy – a stunning engraved glass walling stone.

The current title holder is Lee Jones of Shipley, who impressed judges with a tricky stretch of wall bordering a farm at York Gate near Otley.

Lee’s winning wall was built for Keith Willis at Beacon House Farm and is part of an ongoing project to re-build the perimeter wall on the 20 acre smallholding.

The competition is open to all wallers who live and work in Yorkshire and is free to enter. Entry forms are available by emailing: or telephoning: 01748 907070.