Laying cobblestones

In Devon we are truly treated with a stunning landscape strewn with wonky hedges, meandering lanes, dry stone walls, small woodlands and fields. All of this has been lovingly cared for and maintained over millennia. But in the modern age of machines and computers, the skills and knowledge required at at great risk of being lost.

Shaping chestnut with a drawknife

That’s why in 1980 the Devon Rural Skills Trust (DRST) was set up. The Trust runs courses for the general public in many traditional country skills and has a training programme for those who wish to work with the skills for a living.

I started going on DRST courses ten years ago and went through their training programme, now I help to train the current crop of trainees and instruct on some of the courses. I’m very grateful to the people who’ve passed on their skills and knowledge to me over the years. I use the skills at Velwell Orchard as well as running my little rural skills business Proper Edges.

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Making a wattle hurdle

The DRST now has a new all singing and dancing website and courses can be booked and paid for online. Check it out at: https://www.drst.org.uk/. Traditional rural skills in the 21st Century!