Scottish Dykes

Scotland has a long history of drystane dykes. As the name suggests, there is no fixing mortar used to secure boulders in a drystane dyke.

There are thousands of miles of drystane dykes around Scotland’s agricultural and forest lands.

Dykes can topple with the ravages of time and weather (and vehicles ploughing through them) but when well-built they can last for a very long time.

I once came on a wall where some boulders had tumbled off and noticed a very faded photograph of a young woman about to flutter to the ground. It was a tradition of dykers to place the photo of a loved one into a dyke they were building (biggin). I like that.

I pushed the photo back in among the boulders.

2 Comments to “Scottish Dykes”

  1. Goodness I’ve never come across that. Sounds like a bit of fun. Some seem to have a momentum of their own- when one bit falls another yards away comes adrift. Presumably losing stones at one point weakens the structure down the dyke. I like greenery taking over dykes but suppose that also undermines their stability. Great feature on the Scottish landscape most definitely.

  2. we tend to build back the number plates of the vehicles that crash through them

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