IN the depths of Dalby Forest, construction has begun on a large dry-stone wall maze - and now the public have the opportunity to have their initials forever imprinted on the structure.

The dry-stone wall maze is a partnership project between Mark Ellis, who came up with the idea, the Friends of Dalby Forest and the Forestry Commission.

The idea behind the scheme is to allow people to buy stones in order to help fund the project.

After purchasing, the initials of the buyer are carved into it by sculptor Jennifer Tetlow, and then the stone is built into the maze.

Mr Ellis said: "The recession has made it more difficult for anyone trying to get a new project off the ground, which has led to a more creative approach towards fundraising. 'Make it happen' has become something of a mantra of mine."

Prices for stones start at £10, prices for initialled stones start at £40, and there are also offers for couples and families who wish to immortalise themselves in the maze's corridors.

The maze, hidden in the heart of the forest, will stand at 6ft 7ins in height. To add to its mystique, it has been aligned with the sunrise on the summer solstice. When finished, according to its creators, it will be the largest dry-stone wall construction in the world.

It will include features such as stone step stiles, squeeze stiles, smout holes, kissing gates, phantom gates and moon gates - as Mr Ellis says, "a showcase of the waller’s craft".

A spokesman for the Forestry Commission said: "We are very keen to involve local people and the 'Buy a Stone' scheme is one way of doing this, while also raising the vital funding for this enormous project."

The site is a construction site and there is no access for members of the public yet. However, some open days are planned for this year, when visitors will be able to see how the build is progressing.

Such is the scale of the build, and the specialist skills required in its construction, the projected finish date for the maze is not until 2019.

For more information on buying a stone, visit the Friends of Dalby Forest website.