The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme

Dry Stone Dyke Building Course

A series of drystane dyke building courses were held throughout the islands. This craft is being lost as land is divided up with barbed wire and wooden posts. The courses were very well attended and the course tutor, Brian Omand, showed people the skills needed in making and mending Orkney’s traditional style of dyke. Gathering and transporting the stone to the site is only the start. Those attending were shown how to create the foundation, the core of the dyke and how to position the capping stones.

Some drystane dykes that were falling down were repaired – the walling next to the gaps were stripped down, the remaining stone sorted by size and shape and the wall then built up again. This has given them a new lease of life. Brian commented “some of the dykes here have been standing for over 150 years. Let’s hope our work stays standing for as long!”