Two men build a drystone wall
  • Geopark News

Waller Apprentice Starts At Bradgate Park With Geopark Support

For the first time in 15 years, Bradgate Park have a dedicated dry-stone waller helping to maintain and preserve the stunning landscapes of this key site within Charnwood Forest. The new apprenticeship will help to look after the 16 miles of dry-stone wall within the park, and in future years also support with the maintenance of dry-stone walls elsewhere within the Geopark.

Appointed by the Bradgate Park Trust, the new position is part funded by Charnwood Forest Geopark, through support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The apprenticeship is a recognition of the importance of traditional walling within the Charnwood Forest landscapes, and the need to invest in the unique skills that maintain them. Around 200 volunteers currently work with the Trust to support operations on site, including skilled wallers who help with repair, reconstruction, and protection.

James Dymond, Director of Bradgate Park Trust said, “It’s fantastic to have the first dedicated waller for more than a decade here at Bradgate Park. They’ll learn and refine skills specific to dry stone walling and complement our brilliant volunteer wallers. The apprenticeship scheme is two years and during that time our new waller, Leon Fairbrother, will learn and work across Charnwood Forest Geopark, not just Bradgate Park. As an army veteran residing in Shepshed, this is Leon’s first new role in more than 20 years, so we’re really pleased to be welcoming such a skilled and dedicated person to the role. We’re grateful to Charnwood Forest Geopark and the National Lottery Heritage Fund for supporting the apprenticeship that will enable Leon to gain the specialist knowledge and skill needed for dry stone walling, which is integral Leicestershire’s cultural heritage and green spaces.”

The Trust hopes that the establishment of the newly appointed apprenticeship role will encourage more people to undertake apprenticeship schemes and search for job roles in the countryside sector.

Nick Rushton, Chair of Bradgate Park Trust, said: “Dry stone walling is a traditional craft that spans multiple generations across the country and to be able to offer this unique apprenticeship here in Leicestershire is something we are very proud of. Thanks to the Charnwood Forest Geopark we can shine a light on this important role that shapes local landscapes and ensure the traditional skills continue to be shared with generations to come.”

People interested in finding out more about volunteering at Bradgate Park as wallers, tree planters, walk leaders or visitor guides can email

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