What is a dry stone wall in America

Interest in dry stone walls

The municipality and the Uferschutzverband Thuner- und Brienzersee (UTB) demonstrated the renovation work on the ravine with an “open construction site”. Over 60 interested people visited the drywall construction site.

The ravine is part of the pilgrimage route and a historical traffic route of national importance. At the same time, the municipality of Ringgenberg needs it to empty the Tägerlouena bed load collector at the confluence of the Rütigräben, and has therefore wanted to widen it for a long time. Together with the UTB, she has now worked out a project that has been implemented since last autumn. So that the hiking trail can retain its original character despite being widened, the dry stone walls, some of which have crumbled, are mended, rebuilt over long stretches and relocated where necessary. "A stroke of luck," said Mayor Samuel Zurbuchen with satisfaction.

On the “Open Construction Site Day”, drywall specialist Thomas Murkowsky and his team explained how the interests of cultural property protection and protection from natural hazards, hikers and agriculture can be reconciled with the project. And they showed how they use traditional hand tools and a small excavator to build stable new retaining walls and free-standing walls from the remains of the old wall and new stones from the nearby Rosswald quarry, which fit into the landscape with the same elegant sweep as their predecessor buildings.

Especially enterprising visitors grabbed gloves, goggles and hammers and began to build them themselves under the guidance of the experts. The others watched, gave good advice and looked forward to the special flora and the lizards that should soon populate the many cracks in the sunny walls. Finally, the Ringgenberg community invited everyone to have soup and bread.

Projects with tradition

The UTB has brought numerous sponsors on board to finance the 300 square meters of dry stone walls: the federal government, the cantonal lottery fund, the Swiss landscape fund, the regional conference, the Sophie and Karl Binding Foundation and the BKW eco fund. "For us, this project is the continuation of our meeting point on the pilgrimage route on Lake Thun," said UTB President Andreas Fuchs. "And at the same time we are reviving an old tradition." After all, the bank protection association took care of the restoration of the pilgrimage route in the interwar period - at that time with job creation projects.

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