Beaconsfield Conservation Group unveils stone wall in Angell Woods


The impressive stone structure, nicknamed ‘Angellstone, was built by craftsman John Bland using the ancient dry stone wall technique.

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A 32-ton stone wall dedicated to forest conservation was officially opened on Saturday in Angell Woods in Beaconsfield.

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The impressive seven foot tall structure, nicknamed “Angellstone”, was built by craftsman John Bland using the ancient dry stone wall technique.

The Angell Woods Protection Association commissioned the art installation to commemorate 20 years of citizen efforts to conserve the 100 hectares of forest north of Highway 20.

“No mortar or heavy machinery was used in the construction process. The stones for the wall were reused from the site itself, using the materials from the fieldstone walls that previously demarcated the perimeter of farmland, ”APAW said in a statement. “Not only does this project produce very little carbon emissions, but the nooks and crannies of the wall provide habitat for the small creatures living in the woods.”

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Bland, a stonemason from Baie-D’Urfé, said his goal was to create an ancient-looking structure that blended into the natural surroundings. It took him three months to build on his own, using a hammer, chisel and ax.

APAW, a nonprofit, voluntary organization, was formed to protect and “promoting the responsible use” of Angell Wood. “Its 100 hectares are ecologically important, as they constitute one of the last great green spaces on the island of Montreal and are home to endangered species and valuable wetlands, ”said APAW.

Due to the distancing measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the groundbreaking ceremony was also webcast online using Zoom.

Francis Scarpaleggia, MP for Lac-St-Louis, said Bland’s drywall creation serves as a double symbol.

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“On the one hand, its structure, slowly accumulated from stones nearby, represents our ability to work patiently and in harmony with nature, ”he said. “Angellstone also captures the resilience and ingenuity of the community of individuals who have worked so long to protect the priceless natural space that is Angell Woods.

Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle has called Angell Woods “a natural treasure for Beaconsfield”.

“This milestone anniversary reminds us that protecting our unique urban forest is an important community project – now more than ever,” added the mayor.

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