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European Carrefour for Dry Stone



This project aims at the creation of a new European dynamic for the restoration and preservation of an important element of European cultural heritage which is under threat:  rural dry stone heritage.

Why this project ? Constructions in dry stone are present throughout Europe in a wide variety of forms according to their local specificities.  Although these structures  are a traditional feature of the environment in many regions across Europe, they constitute a know-how that is both ancient and complex but which is today in danger of disappearing altogether. However, this heritage should be considered in a modern context and not just because it is still present in our landscapes and culture but also because it can satisfy demands that we make for sustainable development (constructions adapted to the environment and economy alike, non-polluting materials).

The project European Carrefour for Dry Stone covered the period from April 2003 to April 2004. It was initiate and coordinate by the Centre Mediterranee de l'Environnement (France) and has been supported by the European Program CULTURE 2000.

The Meditteranean Center of Environment was one of the 6 partners from 5 European countries of the project together with:
- Centre Méditerranéen de l’Environnement, France - Project leader
- FODESMA : Public organisation supported by the Island Council of Mallorca, Spain
- Association for the Protection of the Environment, Island of Tinos, Greece
- Solway Heritage, Scotland UK
- Ecognosia, Nicosia, Cyprus

The European Carrefour develops a range of tools all related to 4 main objectives:

  • the recognition and maintenance of a European profession and traditional practical knowledge
  • the development and improvement of initial and further education training
  • the promotion of dry stone construction
  • the preservation of the dry stone heritage through pilot actions in the restoration of dry stone constructions: these real and demonstrative actions aim to both preserve examples of this heritage under threat and train professionals in traditional techniques as well as validating a set of technical specifications for three types of construction in dry stone (wall, track and rural building).

The results of the project

  • an inventory of professionals (companies and individual dykers) in the regions concerned by the project
  • a European Charter for dry stone dykers
  • a frame of reference for initial training in the profession of dry stone walling
  • a research protocol for the drawing up of techical standards (norms) for constructions in dry stone which are transferable to different European countries
  • an action programme for the integration of dry stone construction methods in local development strategies
  • the creation of a European Dry Stone Walling Association
  • awarness raising through an Opens external link in new windowexhibition.
    More information about the exhibition: contact us.
  • training of young people and volunteers in the 5 participating countries through : 1 youth work camp ; 5 weekends work camps and an event during the annual Granite Festival in Scotland (UK)
  • the restoration of 3 constructions representative of rural dry stone buildings in France, Spain, and Greece

Read the News letters : News letter 1 - News letter 2

More information on the Web site of the project

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.