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Friends of the Lake District’s annual dry-stone walling competition has been held in Eden.
Rory Stewart MP travelled to Little Asby Common to give the prizes to the winners.
At an event drawing some of the most proficient stone-wallers of the region, a dilapidated limestone wall was re-built at Mazonwath, Little Asby Common, on a section of Wainwright’s popular coast-to-coast path. Champion local waller Steve Allen and Ted Ellwood of Oxenholme judged the handiwork and, before awarding prizes to the five competitor classes – Open, Intermediate, Novice, Veteran and Young Farmer/Junior.
Mr Stewart said: "I am very, very proud to be here with great people like Steve Allen and people of such stature. Dry-stone walling is a very important thing, because it is something that defines the Lake District. This is the human scale which we give to these great mountains and it reminds us that the whole landscape is about farmers and about the people who work on the walls, not just a wild, natural environment but the human touch that brings people in. Thank you very much for inviting me here today."
Mr Stewart also expressed his delight at being able to support the Friends of the Lake District, and said: "The importance of FLD cannot be underestimated; their efforts to conserve and enhance this beautiful landscape, to encourage understanding of how we humans interact with the landscape, and their commitment to making the landscape accessible and enjoyable to people of all backgrounds is to be applauded. Events like the dry-stone walling competition are the perfect vehicle to exhibit this, and reminding us that this beautiful region has been farmed, worked, walked and enjoyed for generations. It is now our job to ensure that this continues to be the case for future generations. I look forward very much to supporting their work in the future.
Jack Ellerby, policy officer of FLD said: "We have some of the best dry stone wallers in the country taking part in our competition, helping to raise the quality of walling in Cumbria. It was a real showcase for walkers passing by on the coast-to-coast route who all stopped to find out about dry stone walling."