BN12: Stone wall restoration

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the stone wall restoration item.

How much will be paid

£25 per metre (m).

Where to use this item

It is available for Mid Tier, Higher Tier and Hedgerows and Boundaries grants on walls where at least one-third of the original height has to be dismantled and rebuilt in order to complete the restoration.

Where this item cannot be used

On walls that are in receipt of stone wall protection and maintenance (EB11) or stone wall protection and maintenance on or above the moorland line (UB11) under live ELS or UELS agreements.

How this item will benefit the environment

There will be a rebuilt stone wall which will help to control livestock and conserve traditional landscapes.


You must:

  • rebuild walls to their original height in the local style - refer to the height and style of other stone walls nearby that are in good condition
  • dismantle (by hand) the existing structure back to a sound construction
  • rebuild the wall so there is an even top line, a consistent batter (slope), and no bulges or depressions along the face of the wall
  • add a filling of solid rocks with each course where it is part of the traditional construction
  • keep all existing wall-side trees and saplings. A wall-side tree is one that forms part of the boundary feature or is attached to it such that livestock do not pass between it and the wall
  • make stockproof (with wooden rails) any gaps left in the wall to allow for tree growth
  • rebuild stone features into the wall such as sheep creeps, troughs and stiles
  • use original stone where it is available
  • make sure imported stone matches the ones traditional to the area in type, size and style
  • haul stone only when ground conditions are firm enough to prevent damage to the fields next to the wall
  • remove any leftover materials used to complete the wall from the site, and restore the ground where you have carried out the work

Do not:

  • disturb foundation stones unless it is necessary to create a firm base
  • use topsoil, earth, sand or fine gravel as filling between courses
  • use concrete or mortar
  • take stone from other walls, banks or buildings on the holding
  • place stone on features of archaeological, historic or wildlife value as identified on the Farm Environment Record (FER), Environmental Information Map or Historic Environment Farm Environmental Record (HEFER) (where applicable)

Keeping records

You must send the following with your application:

  • a map showing the location of any wall-side trees, saplings and stone features (this can be the FER)

You must keep the following records and supply them with your payment claim:

  • photographs of the completed work

You must keep the following records and supply them on request:

  • any consents or permissions connected with the work
  • receipted invoices, or bank statements where a receipted invoice is unavailable
  • photographs of each length of wall to be restored before work starts

Please see the record keeping and inspection requirements as set out in the relevant manual (Mid Tier, Higher Tier or Hedgerows and Boundaries for more detail.

You can use this item on the same length as the following items:

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this item

The following advice is helpful, but they are not requirements for this item.

Choose the right style for the wall

Restore the wall so that it matches the stone types and wall styles in the immediate area. There can be distinctive local variations, often in relatively small areas. The style is determined by the composition, shape and size of the stone used and the way it can be split and shaped. Using the right type of stone will make sure that you can match the required style.

Restoring the wall

You should:

  • dismantle the existing structure by hand, separating and sorting copings (covering stones), through stones and building stones for reuse
  • lay stones level and pack under each one so that it will not move
  • if using filling, always bring up the level of the middle of the wall for each course before going to the next one - it should not be possible to see daylight through the wall
  • place through stones where the wall is double-faced (they cannot stick out more than 15 centimetres (cm), so weight and stresses are spread evenly
  • place stones next to each other so they touch as much as possible, covering joints below as you build (for example 1 stone on 2, then 2 stones on 1)
  • place each stone with its length reaching well into the wall, not along the outside
  • pack coping stones (stones placed along the top of the wall, ‘capping’ it) as firmly as possible to tie the whole wall together
  • finish the entrances and wall ends with a well-built cheek end

The sides of the wall should slant evenly on both sides, creating an even ‘batter’ from a wide base to a narrower top of the wall. Avoid creating bulges as it weakens the wall and may cause collapse.

Further information

See the Mid Tier, Higher Tier or Hedgerows and Boundaries Grant manual to find out more about the scheme and how to apply.

Published 2 April 2015
Last updated 11 February 2020 + show all updates
  1. The Requirements and Keeping records sections of this page have been updated

  2. Updated for 2017 applications.

  3. Information updated for applications in 2016.

  4. First published.