Dry stone walls

<- Dry stone walls and pile of wood

A dry stone wall is nothing more than a wall made of stones that are not joined together by a binder, such as concrete, but "simply" placed on each other.

Its realization could seem simple since it is made with humble materials (almost always available directly on the spot) and refers to the labour and poor of the background in which they were built in the past. The dry stone walls were in fact used to shelter crops from the wind, to define the borders, for terracing the rugged terrain, and represented the basic technique for the construction of buildings, mostly in rural environments. The truth is that the construction of dry stone walls is a real art, recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (organisation established to promote peace and cooperation between Nations, through education, science, culture, communication and information).

The dry stone walls are a part of the traditional landscape that reflects the historical, cultural and natural heritage of a Country. They are simple and complex at the same time, they are unique in their range of shapes and stones used but equally universal and widespread throughout the world. They also represent a model of sustainability and circular economy, because "every stone is good" and finds its place in the wall: there are therefore no waste materials.

There are no fixed rules for the construction of dry stone walls: each one must be tailored to the area where it is built, to the material available and to the people who make it.

The spaces between the stones, without cement mortar, represent a perfect habitat for many animals (insects, spiders, snails, reptiles, amphibians, etc…) and plant species, thanks to the presence and alternation of warm, cold, humid, dry, sunny and shaded spaces. To begin, it will be necessary to make a small dig to give strength to the foundations of the wall, that will have to be built up starting from the larger stones, and then reduce in size going up. It may seem complicated and difficult to achieve, but to host the fauna in the wild garden, even a pile of stone is enough. Find out more in the next pages!