Causes of deterioration of dry stone walling
Deterioration of dry stone walls can be caused by a number of factors. Small trees and other vegetation growing through, or close by, dry stone walls may seriously destabilise the structure of the wall. Unchecked tree growth will eventually lead to stones becoming dislodged, or the wall being slowly pushed out of line and eventually collapsing. Large animals such as horses, cows and boar may rub against a dry stone wall and dislodge top stones. Burrowing animals can cause problems by destabilising the ground beneath the wall. The provision of a badger gate or lunky hole can help prevent this. One of the biggest threats to dry stone walls is deliberate destruction. This can be due to the enlargement of fields, the cost of upkeep, and changes of use from pasture to arable land. People are by far the most likely cause of damage to a dry stone wall. Walkers trying to cross a wall can dislodge stones, particularly cope stones. Walls are sometimes pillaged to obtain stones for rockeries, landfill and other building purposes. If there is inadequate drainage water may undermine the foundations of a wall leading to collapse. Flooding is a threat where there is a stream close to, or passing under a wall where an appropriately sized gap has not been built into the structure. If mortar has been inappropriately introduced to a dry stone wall, water ingress and frost damage can occur to the stones themselves. It is therefore inadvisable to apply mortar to a wall originally of dry stone construction.



The lands, which belonged to the town, were given by small plots to workers in order to create vineyards. In the 19th century, where horses and sleighs were the only way of transportation, workers had no choice but to set walls out of dry stones (which were obstructing) to mark off their fields. Of course, some dry stone walls were used for reinforcement in the case of steep fields.
Do not hesitate to travel through the scrublands to discover this rural heritage still preserved in La Palme !
See hiking click here