This year the Cotswolds Conservation Board will join forces with three grant funding bodies to help subsidise drystone walling courses run by Abingdon and Witney College on the Cornbury Estate.

The Board will help cover the cost of course fees by administering grant funding from the West Oxfordshire Network Leader + Programme, the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Ernest Cook Trust. The subsidy will reduce a £700 fee per student to a charge of just £150.

Walling students will be taught by members of the Drystone Walling Association of Great Britain and gain a Lantra Level 2 certificate which is a nationally recognised qualification.

Steve Billcliffe, Director of Development for Abingdon and Witney College, said that the college welcomed the support that the Cotswold Conservation Board is able to offer students:

"This innovative course will be attractive to many adult learners in the area and will help the rural economy of West Oxfordshire as well as preserve vital countryside skills for future generations."

It is hoped that local wallers and landowners will employ the trainees to help with their walls outside official course hours. Two sets of courses are to be held this year, one starting on 13th April and the other on 7th September.

For more information or to enrol on the course please contact:

Abingdon and Witney College's Admissions Office at Witney Campus on 01993 208110 or email