A DRY stone waller from Minchinhampton has been royally recognised for his skills. Alistair Bidmead won first place in the professional class at the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Dry Stone Walling Competition and was presented with his award by HRH the Princess Royal in a ceremony at Gatcombe Park Estate last weekend. He was one of 14 winners from as far afield as Northamptonshire and Devon across four categories recognised for the quality of their work. Each competitor was required to build between 1.5m and 2.25m of wall, based on their skill level, to the correct Cotswold standard specification. Alistair described being presented with his trophy as 'a surprise and an honour'. "I thoroughly enjoyed the day and look forward participating in future Cotswolds dry stone walling competitions," he said. The competition was organised by the Cotswolds Conservation Board and the Cotswolds branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain with the support of Huntsmans Quarries.