Lancashire Branch
Dry Stone Walling Association

MARCH 26th & 27th at Round Hill Farm, Dobcross  –  FULLY BOOKED

MAY 7th & 8th at Gorse Hall Country Park, Stalybridge – FULLY BOOKED  

JULY 16th & 17th at Round Hill Farm, Dobcross – FULLY BOOKED 

AUGUST 13th & 14th at Ridge Farm, Diggle – FULLY BOOKED

SEPTEMBER 7th & 8th Corporate Course for ‘City of Trees’ at Crompton Moor

SEPTEMBER 24th & 25th at Ridge Farm, Diggle

Training Courses Dates for 2023:-

March 25/26   May 6/7   July 15/16   August  12/13   September  23/24

NB Our training sites are mainly on working farms in the Saddleworth area. The dates above are correct at this time but exact locations and travel directions will be given to participants nearer the time.

We have been running courses for over 30 years and provide courses for local authorities. The demand for places on our courses is always more than we can accommodate and we apologise if we couldn’t fit you in this time.

We are proud of our courses, we want trainees to enjoy them and we think they are good value for money offering as they do:-

  • Instruction by qualified and experienced DSWA instructors who are first aid trained – you will be in good hands with people who know exactly what they are doing.
  • Lots of help from experienced branch members
  • Lovely sites to work at that have been prepared especially for trainees
  • Insurance with NFU Mutual
  • Provision of gloves, safety glasses and all tools and equipment
  • A simple clean toilet on site
  • Relevant written material to take away and read at leisure
  • Course content which has been carefully thought out
  • A friendly, relaxed working atmosphere with time to discuss issues and have a joke
  • A tangible result in the shape of a real wall which will stand for many years to come
  • Progression with the DSWA Lancashire Branch if you wish to do more

Lovely weather for the course at Round Hill Farm – Chris Bolshaw , the instructor, explaining the programme for the two days.

Excellent group of trainees who built 20m of new wall at Gorse Hall – the ranger was, quite rightly, very pleased with their efforts.

August 2017 – Another excellent group of trainees – our first course in 30 years where the ladies have outnumbered the fellers! Everybody did a great job and the farmer was thrilled with the 17m  wall they built.


All of our courses are suitable for both beginners and improvers and are run by qualified DSWA instructors who are also professional wallers and certified First Aiders. We have no age barriers but you do need to be able bodied. Our training sites are rural and very pleasant to work at and It is our intention that the two days you spend with us are both enjoyable and instructive. Please look at the Gallery page for pictures taken on training courses over the last three years to get some idea of what is involved.

Each course is run over two days:-

DAY 1   9:00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m

DAY 2   9:00 a.m. until we finish

The course will cover:-

  • Health and safety
  • Use of tools
  • Stripping Out – Taking down and laying out a dry stone wall
  • Setting frames and lines appropriate to wall size
  • Laying foundations
  • Building the lower wall (first lift)
  • Correct use of packing or hearting
  • Placement of through stones
  • Building of upper wall (second lift)
  • Placement of top stones – cover bands or toppers

Our courses are very practical and over the two days you will take down and rebuild a section of damaged dry stone wall. The new wall that you will build will be a working wall and it will serve a real purpose. It will stand for many years after you leave the site – We guarantee them for 200 years!

You can work at your own pace and there is plenty of opportunity for discussion. As well as the instructor you will work alongside experienced wallers from the DSWA Lancashire Branch who are there to give you any assistance you require.

Places on courses are limited to a maximum of 8 participants per instructor to ensure that you get plenty of individual attention.

Gloves, protective glasses and all of the tools that you will need are provided.

A simple, clean toilet is provided at the site.


YOU MUST WEAR STOUT BOOTS, ideally with steel toe caps, if you have a pair. Wellingtons and trainers are NOT suitable footwear. We take our duty of care to you very seriously indeed and we will not let you commence the course if we think your footwear puts you at risk of injury.

You should bring FULL WATERPROOFS (jacket and over-trousers) and a hat if it is likely to be cold or wet and remember to bring sun-screen and a sun-hat for courses run during the summer.

You will also need to bring your own drinks and a packed lunch.

Don’t forget your camera; you will want to take pictures.


Many people who attend our courses want to continue to improve their walling skills. The best way to do this is to join the Dry Stone Walling Association (currently £45 per year) – you will then be eligible to attend any of our monthly walling practice sessions free of charge.  As a DSWA member you will also be eligible to attend practice meetings organised by other branches throughout the country although some do make a charge.


We may add courses to the programme and/or change venues:
please check our web site at
– this site also gives information on all our events open to branch members.

Pandemics apart we have only ever cancelled a course once but the branch reserves the right to do so should we consider the course non-viable for whatever reason (eg. severe weather warnings, foot and mouth outbreaks, pandemics etc.) – wherever possible at least one week’s notice will be given and participants will be offered a place on an alternative course or given a full refund.

For further information and to check availability, contact Paul  Clayton(Secretary) on 07733 103 500 (evenings or weekends only) or e-mail


£120.00 per person for 2 days, to be paid in full before the course by cheque or cash on the day.


It is possible to purchase vouchers which can be given as presents. These vouchers can be presented against the cost of  any of our courses.

Value of vouchers £ 25, £50 & £75, with the remainder to be paid on the day, for the full cost of the course.

Please contact our secretary Paul Clayton for details.