Brandon Village Residents Association

Professor David Bellamy visited Brandon Village and met the winners of The Northern Echo's community environmental competition 'Making a Difference', which honours groups and individuals improving the region's environment.  Brandon Village Residents' Association members turned a piece of derelict land into a community garden.

The Garden Committee commented, "We can hardly believe that just a few months ago this piece of land that was an eyesore has been transformed into a beautiful community garden with the help of a state-of-the-art Amdega greenhouse and the generosity of other sponsors, including Dry Stone Walling Tutor Peter Dent.  With the hard work of volunteers, we have created something positive for the village and the wider community that brings people together in a lovely setting." 


The Brandon Village Community Garden was officially opened by local MP Roberta Blackman-Woods. Roberta warmly praised the efforts of Brandon Village Residents' Association this week, who have worked together to create a wonderful garden space for the community.




Farmers of the future

Seven 'farmers of the future' project apprentices from 'Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services' (UTASS), have been awarded the Lantra Level 1 qualification and one the coveted Lantra level 2 qualification in Dry Stone Walling.

The student farmers are placed on working farms and undergo a variety of training events, The scheme is project managed by UTASS and supported by Lantra Landskills with RDGE funding via One Northeast and contributions from the farmers.

The dry stone walling tuition was provided by Peter Dent at his Lantra approved Training and Test Centre at Low KaysLea, Hamsterley, County Durham.

Farmers of Future Dry Stone Walling Test day

Will he make it



Farmers Son Smashes Dry Stone Walling Record

Adam Lowson has gained a dry stone walling qualification at just 14 years of age. He is the younget recorded person to pass the Lantra Level 1 qualification in dry stone walling. The test was held at Low Kays Lea farm on the 19thSeptember 2011 over a gruelling 7 hour period.

Adam is ‘hot on the heals’ of the World renown Waller Steven Allen, who in fact was an examiner on the Certification day. 

Steve said “Adam has done extremely well given the conditions on the day, undeterred by the rain he kept on going. He was like me when I was his age and I hope that he continues. You never know he might go on to break my records!”

Dry Stone Walling Tutor, Peter Dent verified with Lantra that Adam was in fact the youngest recorded person to gain the qualification. It is people like Adam who will keep the ancient craft of dry stone walling alive.

The Lantra approved centre is the only site in the North East England able to offer both Lantra Level 1 & 2 tuition in dry stone walling.

Lantra is the theUK’s Sector Skills Council for land-based and environmental industries.