Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2013 (NE349)
UPDATED in 2013
UB11 Stone wall protection and maintenance on or above the Moorland Line

32 points per 100 m


You must have control over the management of both sides of the wall. Stone walls of all types are important for stock management and as landscape and historic features. They are also potentially important habitats for lichens, mosses and ferns, invertebrates, reptiles, birds and small mammals.

This option can only be applied to complete walls in good condition. A wall in good condition is at its original height to below the top stones with at least 75 per cent of top stones in place (where they formed part of the original construction) and no gaps along the entire length. A wall is measured between two end points. An end point includes connections between two or more walls, or connections to other features for example; fences, gateways, buildings, roads, ditches, and hedgerows, or the point at which there is a change in management/ownership. This option can also be applied to livestock enclosures such as sheep folds and walls which end mid-field.

Stone walls must be built of natural materials and must be of traditional dry-stone wall construction. Mortar may be used when it is the traditional method of stone walling.

For this option, you must comply with the following:

  • Protect stone walls from deterioration. Undertake a visual inspection of the walls to check their condition and identify any sections that need repair at least once a year. Keep a record (written or photographic) of the problems identified and the repair work undertaken.
  • Where gaps occur during the course of the agreement carry out the necessary repairs.
  • Carry out all repair and maintenance work in the traditional materials used in the original wall construction, following the style characteristic of the local landscape and using appropriately shaped and sized local natural stone. Any existing features such as sheep creeps and stone gate posts must be retained.
  • Do not remove any in situ stone from walls.
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