Dry Stone Walling Courses For Beginners – 2024

If you are new to dry stone walling and you would like to learn more about this traditional craft, why not try one of our beginner courses offered by our network of local branches located throughout Britain. They offer short, usually weekend, courses aimed at beginners seeking to learn the basic skills of the craft.

Training is delivered by recognised DSWA Instructors who will provide information and practical experience in the basics of building a dry stone wall. Branches also offer anyone who joins as a member of the DSWA the chance to attend free practice days to improve skills or work towards one of the certificates in dry stone walling (see qualification courses below).

2024 Schedule StatusLocationStone TypeInstructor(s)
January 2024 No Course This Month  
February 2024 No Course This Month  
March 23rd & 24th COMPLETEDVenue Change Hollowfield Centre Castleton
(Was Staden Grange, Buxton)
LimestoneRay Mellor
April 13th & 14thCOMPLETEDHigh Ashes FarmGritstoneTom Fenton/Sharn Waites
May 18th & 19thCOMPLETEDNightingale Centre, Great HucklowLimestoneEmma Yates
June 1st & 2ndAVAILABLEGreen Farm, BigginLimestone Emma Yates
July 13th & 14thAVAILABLEHollowford Centre, Castleton Ray Mellor 
August 24th & 25thAVAILABLEHigh Ashes FarmGritstone Billy McCallum
September 14th & 15thAVAILABLEKirk Field, BigginLimestoneEmma Yates
October 19th & 20thAVAILABLEHigh Ashes FarmGritstoneCarl Hardman
November 9th & 10thAVAILABLEStaden Grange, BuxtonLimestoneBilly McCallum
December 2024 No Course This Month  

How to book or buy a gift voucher

Please book via our shop (COMING SOON)

Alternatively if you would prefer to pay by bank transfer, please contact Alan Malia, branch treasurer (07974 508223) or via email. Courses must be paid for in full at time of booking to secure your place.

Tap or click here to email us to book a 2024 course. Please include a telephone number so that we can call you back if required.

Attendees under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

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 and are valid for 12 months.

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

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.

As the courses are held on working farm land, regrettably dogs are not permitted.

Novice and Improvers9.30am to 4.30pm£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. 

Concessions – 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 should 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


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.

Ashbourne Show GroundOsmaston, Ashbourne, DE6 1LW. The stone here is Limestone.
Green FarmMain Street, Biggin by Hartington, SK17 0DH. Halfway between the Waterloo Inn and the church. The stone here is Limestone.
High Ashes FarmHigh Ashes Lane, Ashover, Chesterfield, S45 0LH. The stone here is Gritstone. Click here for accommodation at High Ashes. 
Hollowfield CentreHollowfield Centre, Castleton, S33 8WB
Kirk Field Biggin, Buxton, SK17 0DH
Nightingale CentreGreat Hucklow, (Off B6049), Buxton, SK17 8RH

Great Hucklow is situated just off the B6049, north of the A623 (Stockport to
Chesterfield road), near Tideswell. From Chesterfield take the A619. From
Manchester and Stockport take the A6. From Sheffield take the A625.

There is ample free parking at the Centre. Note that the car park is at the
rear of the centre and accessed via the entrance opposite the Old Chapel

Staden GrangeStaden 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 Hardman07768 978846
Ray Mellor07904 883902
Emma Yates07966 666463
Bridget & Rob Gibson07803 178324
Billy McCallum07917 192604

Cancellations and 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.

Cancellations up to 4 weeks before a course are eligible for a full refund.

If a course is cancelled you will be offered a full refund or an alternative date, valid for 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.