Drystone walls returning to former glory

Published: Tuesday July 13, 2021

Two men repairing a drystone wallA time capsule put together by children at Down Ampney School has been buried in a dry stone wall during repair work.

The children put together the time capsule with items that reminded them of this particular moment in time, showing what life was like during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rebecca Gray, Headteacher at Down Ampney School said, “All of the children thought of different things that they might like children to know about them if they found the tin in the future.

“Some of the children wrote about covid, others their favourite lessons, some who they lived with, others what they liked doing outside of school. Other children drew a picture and wrote a simple message.

“All of the children really enjoyed taking part and loved the idea that they had no idea when anyone might find the tin and how old they might be or where they might be living. It was a real awe and wonder moment.”

The time capsule was then put into the wall near the historic All Saints Church, which lies in a Conservation Area.

The drystone walls around the churchyard were in a serious state of disrepair, after having been vandalised, and large sections of old stone stolen. The repair work was funded with a grant from The Hills Group through the Landfill Communities Fund.

The Revd Canon John Swanton joked that the extent of the work that needed doing was of Biblical proportions.

He said, “It felt like the walls of Jericho had fallen down around us!  The ancient drystone walls surrounding the churchyard and along the public footpath were in a dreadful condition.

“It has been wonderful to have had the walls restored to their former glory by Chris Evans and Tony Fletcher, who have done a wonderful job with great craftsmanship and artistry.

“The Grade I church of All Saints sits in a quintessentially Cotswold setting and it is now set off beautifully by the drystone walls so characteristic of this area and which are a haven for local wildlife.”

Traditional drystone walls provide varied and valuable habitats for a whole range of wild plants and creatures such as lichens, liverworts and mosses, hibernating reptiles and insects.

For more information about caring for your churchyard and encouraging biodiversity, you may be interested in our

Grants for gardens scheme.


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