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Drystone wallers create a landmark wall at RSPB Conwy in just two days!

Last modified: 18 October 2010

North Wales Branch of the Drystone Walling Association building a wall

Image: The RSPB

A team of drystone wallers have successfully built an eight metre ‘clawdd’ in just two days  at RSPB Conwy nature reserve. 

The North Wales branch of the Drystone Walling Association (NWDSWA) were challenged to create a new out-of-hours entrance to the reserve, and they did it, whilst at the same time explaining their work to many visitors to the reserve.

 “A clawdd is an earth bank protected by rows of dry stones and topped by turf,” explained Sean Adcock, secretary of the NWDSWA.  “There is no English translation for the design, which is traditionally used in parts of North Wales where stone is relatively scarce.  The typical Welsh pattern is to have rows of stones similar to books on a shelf, and this is the pattern we’ve used at Conwy.”

 The event was organised as part of a programme to train experienced drystone wallers in building cloddiau, the plural for clawdd.  The NWDSWA has recently received funding from Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) to help promote drystone walls and cloddiau.  This will include a bilingual guide to basic clawdd construction, for landowners and public bodies commissioning work.  It is thought to be the first guide of its kind.

 Julian Hughes, site manager at RSPB Conwy, said “We’re delighted that the wallers were able to help us to replace a rather dilapidated wall with a solid clawdd that should last for years. 

 We’re also planting a hedgerow along the top that will provide food for insects and so become a great wildlife habitat in itself.”

 On Bardsey Island, the gaps between the stones in the cloddiau are used by hundreds of Manx shearwaters to nest when they return from their wintering grounds off the coast of Brazil, while Conwy’s existing walls are popular with stoats.

 More information about the NWDSWA can be found at

 RSPB Conwy Nature Reserve and gift shop is open from 9.30 am until 5pm every day, the coffee shop is open daily 10 am – 4.30 pm.  For more details contact RSPB Conwy on 01492 584 091 or visit


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