Dry Stone Walling Courses For Beginners - 2021 - Dates, Locations & Instructors may be subject to change

We are following Government guidelines and have procedures in place to ensure that our attendees are safe as possible.
Our instructors are taking a Covid test ahead of the courses.
We would like to request that, where possible, you take a Covid test prior to attending our courses.
This will protect yourself, others around you and our instructors.
Many thanks for your cooperation.

2021 ScheduleStatusLocationStone TypeInstructor(s)
March 14th & 15th   No Course This Month    
April 18th & 19th CANCELLED Staden Grange, Buxton Limestone Trevor Wragg
May 9th & 10th CANCELLED Cowley Knoll Farm Gritstone Trevor Wragg
June 20th & 21st CANCELLED New Buildings Farm Gritstone Ray Mellor
July 17th & 18th CANCELLED High Ashes Farm Gritstone Trevor Wragg
August 14th & 15th COMPLETED New Buildings Farm Gritstone Emma Yates / Graham Jones
September 18th & 19th COMPLETED Cowley Knoll Farm Gritstone Trevor Wragg / Carl Hardman
September 25th & 26th COMPLETED High Ashes Farm Gritstone Ray Mellor / Billy McCallum
October 23rd & 24th FULLY BOOKED High Ashes Farm Gritstone Carl Hardman / Tom Fenton
November 13th & 14th FULLY BOOKED Staden Grange, Buxton Limestone Trevor Wragg / Bridget Gibson
December 2021   No Course This Month    


How to book

Our preference is for you to make your booking by phone. Please call Alan Malia, branch treasurer, on 01246 280914 or 07974 508223 and leave a message if we are not able to take your call. Attendees under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Tap or click here to email us about our 2021 courses. Please include a telephone number so that we can call you back.

Gift idea - why not pre-purchase a course booking as a present for a birthday, Christmas or other occasion? Vouchers can be pre-purchased and redeemed for a course later in the same year or following year.

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*New - Click here to download our new beginners course flyer.

Click here to read about a 2015 course attendee's experiences.

Click to hear our beginners course get a mention on BBC Radio 2.

Click to hear an interview with Trevor Wragg on BBC Radio Derby.

Click to hear an interview with Carl Hardman on BBC Radio Solent.

Click here to download a brief history of dry stone walls in Derbyshire.

Course Objectives

During a dry stone walling training course you will:

  •   Be taught by accredited DSWA Instructors 
  •   Learn the basic principals of dry stone walling 
  •   Increase your understanding of the need to conserve dry stone walls 
  •   Enjoy working in the countryside alongside others with similar interests 

Derbyshire DSWA offers structured tuition in an informal atmosphere. At the beginning of the course you will meet your instructor at an introductory welcome and briefing. The course teaches the basic principals of dry stone walling, which will involve taking down (stripping out) a derelict or damaged section of wall and rebuilding it to DSWA standards. You can work at your own pace and are not under pressure.
The courses are open to anyone from 13 to 80+, provided they are reasonable fit and well. Attendees under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Serious injuries in walling are rare, but care is needed when handling and working with stone to avoid back, hand, foot and eye injuries. Your instructor will give safety instruction and guidance.

Course Information

Derbyshire branch novice and improvers courses take place in most weather conditions. However, if snow or severe frost is forecast please phone the training co-ordinator or instructor to check.
Level: Novice and Improvers Time: 9.30am to 4.30pm Cost: £100 per person per two day course

Help for Heroes - there is no charge for Serving and Reservist Personnel and Veterans who have suffered injuries or illness as a result of their service to the Nation. 

There is a 50% reduction in the course fee for attendees who are unemployed, or students in full time education.

Proceeds from the Beginners course fees promote a greater understanding and knowledge about the traditional craft of dry stone walling and to encourage the repair and maintenance of dry stone walls throughout the country.

  •   Ample parking at all sites
  •   Toilet facilities are available near the walling site
  •   First Aid equipment is kept by instructors
  •   Derbyshire DSWA training courses have public liability insurance to cover course members
  •   Tools, pins and lines provided
  •   Participants need to inform us of any significant medical issues on the application form in advance or discuss with the instructor prior to the course

Equipment Required

Packed lunch, snacks and hot/cold drinks

  •   Safety boots (mandatory)
  •   Hat and sun block (if hot weather)
  •   Durable clothing
  •   Waterproofs
  •   A pair of safety glasses
  •   A pair of strong protective gloves - click here for recommended glove types

Cancellation & Refunds Policy

Circumstances on occasion may arise whereby, due to reasons beyond our control, a part or the whole of a course has to be postponed or cancelled.

Reasons such as severe weather conditions, issues with the site, or instructors falling ill would be some examples. The safety, comfort and enjoyment of our course attendees is our number one priority at all times, and we will make difficult decisions when appropriate to ensure this is so. This decision is the responsibility of the lead instructor. Where possible notice will be given.

If a course is cancelled you will be offered an alternative date, valid within 12 months.

If a course is cancelled after 50% has been run, then you will be given the option to receive a 50% refund, or book on to a future course for a discounted rate.

We do not offer refunds to attendees who cancel within 4 weeks of a course date. Under exceptional circumstances we will always work with you find acceptable solutions.


Accommodation is available at some of the locations below - please see the individual venue websites.

Click here for further information about tourism and accomodation in the Peak District.

Brundcliffe Farm is near Hartington. It is on the east side of the A515, just south of the turn to Hartington. Look out for the DSWA sign. Postcode is SK17 0BA. The stone here is Limestone. http://www.brundcliffefarm.co.uk/

Bushey Heath Farm is on Tideswell Moor. Look out for the DSWA sign. Postcode is SK17 8JE. The stone here is Limestone. http://busheyheathfarm.com/

Cowley Knoll Farm is in the village of Birchover. Look out for the DSWA sign. Postcode is DE4 2BH. The stone here is Gritstone.
Click here for the location of Cowley Knoll Farm

Green Farm is on Main Street, Biggin by Hartington, SK17 0DH. Halfway between the Waterloo Inn and the church. The stone here is Limestone.

High Ashes Farm - High Ashes Lane, Ashover, Chesterfield, S45 0LH. The stone here is Gritstone. Click here for accommodation at High Ashes. 

Mulino Lodge is on Agnes Meadow Lane, Kniveton. Look out for the DSWA signs at the turn off Kniveton Lane. Postcode is DE6 1JR. The stone here is Limestone. http://www.mulinopods.co.uk/ 

New Buildings Farm Taylor's Lane, Ashleyhay, Wirksworth, DE4 4AH, OS Map 119/296518 and White Peak sheet. The stone here is Gritstone.  http://www.newbuildings.co.uk/ 

Staden Grange Staden Lane, Buxton, SK17 9RZ. The stone here is Limestone.


All of our instructors are working wallers, certified by the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain and with decades of experience. They are also all qualified instructors and have been taking these courses for many years. All of our sites have been used previously and hundreds of people have enjoyed their time there. Our sites are 'real' walling environments where your work will remain and contribute to the landscape for many years to come, not just be re-built by the next course.

Carl Hardman 07768 978846

Trevor Wragg  07702 925309

Ray Mellor 07904 883902

Emma Yates (07966 666463)