Participants of Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award from the Halton area of Cheshire have been working alongside Manx National Heritage on a significant project at Cregneash.
A programme of work was designed to provide mutual benefits to the participants and Manx National Heritage at Cregneash. To achieve the Gold Residential Section Award individuals have to spend five days and four nights away from home working on a shared activity with a team of people they have never met before.
Their leader, David Achilles, Youth Worker in Accreditation and Awards, said;
“We really wanted to challenge our team this year with some good honest outdoor work in a setting where they will learn new skills, which is why we contacted Manx National Heritage back in April.”
On the first day the team were fortunate to be coached in the art of dry stone walling by Chairman of the Trustees for Manx National Heritage, Mr Tony Pass. Mr Pass, who has a Dry Stone Wall qualification, was only happy to share his skills and coach the youngsters on a number of repairs around the village.
“This activity is hard work with the heavier stones but very satisfying when you find the one that fits just so. As an organisation Manx National Heritage are keen to engage with community groups on projects such as this one. Through collaboration we can achieve more – young people develop skills and knowledge in areas they may never have imagined and for us, as well as getting help with heritage conservation work, we can create an ongoing interest in skills which are being lost.”
The team completed the walls to an excellent standard and the results speak for themselves; as the photos show, the repairs look like they could have been carried out anytime in the last 200 years.
The following days’ activities included undergrowth clearance and developing a drainage system for Cregneash’s willow garden, where a wide variety of the trees are grown for the purpose of basket weaving.