Final poetry stones now ready for South West Coast Path

Dorset Echo: JOURNEY: Volunteers from the Dry Stone Walling Association after the final poetry stone had been laid JOURNEY: Volunteers from the Dry Stone Walling Association after the final poetry stone had been laid

WALKERS will take in words of wisdom as they journey along the South West Coast Path.

The last of six poetry stones has now been laid along a stretch of the route above Chapman’s Pool, Worth Matravers.

Volunteers from the Dorset branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association carried out the work which will enable ramblers to enjoy phrases written especially for each stone by Dorchester poet Paul Hyland and designed and carved by stonemason Anna Bowen. The stones, which weigh more than half a tonne each, are spread along a 600 metre stretch of the coast path.

Sally Fielding, secretary for the Dorset branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association said: “It is very satisfying to have completed the task and we have enjoyed every minute of it.

“We have also found that it was an excellent way to meet members of the public, who were walking the path from all over the country.

“It gave us a chance to publicise our organisation and interest them in the craft of dry stone walling.”

Dry stone walling is an ancient building method where structures are made from stones without any mortar to bind them together.

The laying of the poetry stones is part of a larger scheme to improve the condition of the path wall.

Due to their weight, the stones were lifted in to place using a tripod and hoist pulley system.

Jenny Penney, Purbeck coastal ranger for Dorset County Council, said: “There is still a lot of work to be done to refurbish the wall in between some of the stones and, although it is a long job, it is very satisfying to see the wall being reconstructed piece by piece.”

The scheme has been funded by the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team and the Purbeck Keystones Project. For more information about the ancient technique, or to become a volunteer for the service, contact Jenny Penney on 01305 251000.

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