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Securing an unstable dry stone wall?

Hello, There is a wobbly dry stone wall at the end of my garden, young cows on one side and my toddler on the other. I need to secure it but for as cheaply as possible because I don't really feel it's my responsibility but even if I did convince the owner to do something it would unlikely stop the risk of stones falling my way. I was thinking of sticking 5cm posts into the ground at very frequent intervals, maybe every foot or so, and then putting a couple of cross bars and perhaps some wire mesh. Then cover with trellis to hide as best as possible. Do you think this would be sufficient? Maybe I could minimise it even more? It did occur to me to just cover the whole wall in mesh and secure it to the ground, would that be cheaper and equally as effective? Would the cows still be able to level it if they thought the grass was greener on my side? Thanks


  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,690
    A photo would really help!
    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour". 
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,690
    I'm thinking just a simple wire mesh stock fence on your side, which wouldn't visually detract from the wall, which I presume doesn't look bad. I'm assuming the outlook is rural, and a simple stock proof fence would be more in keeping than fancy trellis. You could get some native hedging going along it too.
    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour". 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,953

    Where's Champion Dry Stone Wall Builder Edd when you need him??? image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Katherine WKatherine W Posts: 410

    I rebuilt a bunch a drystone walls in our garden, it's not difficult (actually it's fun)... it seems to me that it is easier to rebuild a badly leaning wall than to try to stabilize it... whatever you do to "stabilize" it, will not keep it from tumbling down soon or late, and you'll have wasted all the time and stuff image

  • LeifUKLeifUK Posts: 573

    I would not do anything to the wall without the permission of the owner. An obvious solution would be to either have it rebuilt or add some mortar.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Had some experience of dry stone walls, a sheep farm at Goathland N Yorks moors, once unstable they need taking down and rebuilding. With a young child or children who could not resist climbing then you need to fence them well away from the wall and any falling stone usually heavy. You may lose some garden although the child's safety is paramount. Away from the wall posts and chicken wire would be the cheapest way. Hope this helps.


  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

       Posts and chicken wire will only stop the children from going near the wall - it will not secure the wall. The only way is to rebuild it and for that you need to talk to the owner. Up here in Scotland, I got a dry stone wall rebuilt and it cost about £50 a metre (3 foot tall). That was about 7-8 years ago. Not sure what the price would be now but quite expensive I would think.              

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • richhondacrichhondac Posts: 222
    Rebuilding the wall would be the easiest way of making it safe
  • Louise BLouise B Posts: 81

    Hi, thanks for the replies.

    The lean of the wall is pretty bowed, like it used to lean away from my garden but now the top half leans towards my garden because of the cows.

    I have had previous quotes done for the wall and the cheapest one was £4k and as I said it's not my wall, they're not my cows and I assume they might just knock it down again within years as they are deliberately pushing up against it.

    i have also patched up about a meter of the wall myself from the ground up but I'm only 5' and these aren't the little stones they seem to use nowadays, they are the big 45cm x 25cm x 30cm type ones with smaller odds and ends mixed in.

    Plus they might not it down and itd have to be done over winter when the cows aren't there.

    I hadn't even thought of mortar so might add some of that in places image

    I had thought hedge but assumed the cows would eat it before it grew very much?



  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    The hedge would have to be planted on the other side of the wall from you - ie in the farmers field. If rebuilding is not an option could you perhaps speak to the farmer and get him to erect some stock fencing on his side to keep the cows away from it? Then all you need worry about is your little uns and how to keep them away from your side?

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
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