Published on 19th May 2017

building dry stone wall on Leckhampton Hill

On Wednesday 24 May, ten local people will be trying their hand at dry stone walling on Leckhampton Hill.

Led by Cheltenham Borough Council, the taster day is being offered as part of the ‘Going the Extra Mile’ (GEM) project.

The GEM project, which is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund, is designed to get the county’s most vulnerable adults back into employment, or move them further towards education, training, volunteering and self-employment.

This programme is a unique partnership of community based organisations, managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council.

The Cotswold Voluntary Wardens were successful in securing £2,500 funding from the Countryside Fund towards the purchase of Cotswold stone for the project, with £750 from the council’s higher level stewardship grant funding. The Cotswold Conservation Board has provided an experienced instructor, tools and personal protective equipment for the day.

Wayne Sedgwick, community ranger for Cheltenham Borough Council, says: “This is a great opportunity for people to have a go at a traditional craft and will give them hands-on experience of dry stone walling which they have probably never had before.

“It may be that they then choose to commit to an accredited course which could give them strong prospects for the future.’’

Edward Bonn, from the Cotswold Conservation Board, continues: “This project presents a valuable first step in learning an important skill and progress towards an accredited training course in dry stone walling, with the possibilities for future employment which this brings. The Cotswolds Conservation Board provides the Stepping Stones project for training dry stone wallers which could form the next stage in doing so.”

For more information about the project contact Edward Bonn, email [email protected]

For media enquiries contact: Laura Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154, email [email protected]

The Going the Extra Mile (GEM) Project aims to engage with and support individuals in Gloucestershire who are currently dealing with circumstances that potentially cause barriers to work and move people closer towards education, training, volunteering or work, including self-employment.

GEM has received up to £3.16 million of funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England.