Giant maze bid at Dalby

Craftsman Mark Ellis(left) with Forestry Commision project manager Petra Young and her daughter Emma, 3, looking at the model of the proposed giant dry stone wall maze which the forestry commission are hoping to build in Dalby Forest, after launching a fundraising campaign to raise �600,000 needed. Picture by Andrew Higgins  113113c  02/08/11
Craftsman Mark Ellis(left) with Forestry Commision project manager Petra Young and her daughter Emma, 3, looking at the model of the proposed giant dry stone wall maze which the forestry commission are hoping to build in Dalby Forest, after launching a fundraising campaign to raise �600,000 needed. Picture by Andrew Higgins 113113c 02/08/11
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AS far as dry stone walls go, Yorkshire’s got it’s fair share, but the Forestry Commission has launched a £600,000 fundraising campaign to create a giant maze using the ancient art.

The proposed 80 square metre stone spectacular will be located in the heart of Dalby Forest near Dixon’s Hollow and is the brainchild of former Scarborough student Mark Ellis, who has been working with the environmental department.

Craftsman Mark Ellis, who will be building the proposed giant dry stone wall maze which the forestry commission are hoping to build in Dalby Forest, after launching a fundraising campaign to raise �600,000 needed. Picture by Andrew Higgins  113113h  02/08/11

Craftsman Mark Ellis, who will be building the proposed giant dry stone wall maze which the forestry commission are hoping to build in Dalby Forest, after launching a fundraising campaign to raise �600,000 needed. Picture by Andrew Higgins 113113h 02/08/11

Already 300 tonnes of stone have been donated, but in total 4,000 will be needed for the maze which will have six foot high walls and take two masons plus two apprentices three years to build.

Mr Ellis said: “The maze is a huge undertaking. It’s been buzzing around my head for 12 years and although I didn’t have Dalby in mind when I came up with the idea, as it turns out it’s a great place for a stone maze.

“Lifting and shaping 4,000 tonnes of stones will be a heck of a slog, but a great attraction. It will be a showcase for the ancient art of dry stone walling.”

Petra Young, from the Forestry Commission, added: “We are really keen to see this brilliant dream become a reality. The maze combines fun, craftsmanship and art and it will also help train apprentices who are the dry stone wallers of the future. We like to think everything is bigger and better in Yorkshire. And what better way to prove it that with a wonderful maze and another fantastic feature for Dalby.”

Forest chiefs are approaching funding bodies to raise the cash and interested parties can contact Petra Young on (01751) 472771.