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Keeping traditional skills alive

Six Forestry and Land Scotland apprentices have completed a five-day dyking course in Cally Woods, sponsored by the Gatehouse Development Initiative.  Under the guidance of qualified instructor Kevin Butters, the apprentices, from as far afield as Innerleithen and ranging in ages from school leaver to over 50, learned to take down and rebuild a substantial section of the old wall which snakes through the woods by the horse track.  On the fourth day they learned to build cheek ends and on the last day their challenge was to repair two gaps on the Deer Park wall on the road to Sandgreen.  As well as learning dyking skills the course also encouraged teamwork and helping each other. The apprentices were very positive about the course which will allow them to use their new skills as part of their forestry work.