A Close Call for this Year's Dry Stone Walling Competition
The margin of victory could not have been any closer in this year’s annual Cotswolds (AONB) Dry Stone Walling Competition, which took place on Saturday 20th September at Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park in Gloucestershire.
Anita Faherty from Harrogate, Yorkshire, took the top prize in the professional class with a mark of 83 points (out of 100), leaving local waller Kieran Sanders to miss out by just ½ a point with an overall mark of 82.5. Depending on their skill level, each competitor was required to rebuild between 1.5m and 2.25m of an existing dry stone wall to the correct Cotswolds standard specification. The wall in question, an important historic feature of the Cotswold Farm Park estate, was in desperate need of repair and had collapsed in several places. Therefore, in order to prevent further deterioration the wall was identified as a perfect candidate for this year’s competition.
Seventeen wallers in total competed across the competition’s four classes, with some competitors having travelled from as far away as Cumbria. Many local Cotswolds dry stone wallers also took part, with first place in the Novice Class going to Mr Phillip Hunt of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.
The day ended with an official issuing of prize money and trophies by David Molloy of the Cotswolds Conservation Board. Adam Henson, who attended this year’s event, was also present to congratulate the winners following their success.
Upon receiving her trophy, Anita Faherty said: “I’m delighted to have won this competition. The judges spent a long time looking at the walls and I must admit I didn’t think I was going to win it, so when they called out my name I had a little tear in my eye”
The competition was organised by the Cotswolds Conservation Board, in partnership with the Cotswolds branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain (DSWA).
The winners were:
First place: Anita Faherty, Yorkshire
Second place: Kieran Sanders, Oxfordshire
Third place: Gordon Simpson, Yorkshire
Amateur/part-time professional class
First place: Edward Park, Cumbria
Second place: Scott Read, Carterton, Oxfordshire
Third place: Phillip Sexton, Evesham Worcestershire
First place: Phillip Hunt, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire
Second place: Alan Brocklebank, Oxfordshire
Third place: Nick Tanner, Hillesley, Gloucestershire
Beginner Pairs Simon Mayo & Christine Kelly (Oxfordshire)
• Local celebrity Adam Henson with Beginner Pairs winners Simon Mayo and Christine Kelly.
• The winners of each class of the Cotswolds AONB Dry Stone Walling Competition (left to right: Simon Mayo, Christine Kelly, Anita Faherty, Edward Park, Phillip Hunt)