All set for the European Stone Festival in Strasburg, 26-28 June

British stonemason Alex Wenham, who runs his own studio in Oxford, will be back at the European Stone Festival this year 26-28 June trying to complete his hattrick – having been a winner at the event in the past two years.

This year the Festival is taking place in Strasbourg, France. Arrangements for it have changed a little as time has gone on – there was going to be a restriction on entries to 120 stonemasons and carvers, but interest has once again been so great that extra space has been found and now 160 are expected to take part, so Alex can expect some serious competition.

The European Stone Festival travels around Europe. It is run by Freiburg Technical College for Stonemasonry & Stone Carving in Germany in co-operation with whichever European centre is the current venue. This year's venue of Strasbourg coincides with the millennium celebrations at the city's sandstone cathedral.

The festival was inaugurated in the 1990s at the college in Freiburg and since then has become an annual event. It has been all over Europe, twice coming to the UK, first to Canterbury and then, in 2013, to Lincoln.

The theme this year reflects the location in the Rhine valley with its spectacular landscape of mountains, lakes and pastures: Flora & Fauna of the Black Forest.

The Rhine valley is the centre of Romanesque architecture with all its stunning mystical ornamentation full of medieval symbolism, so the work produced this year might be expected to reflect that.

Visitors to the event will be able to watch the masons at work. In addition, the festival will be presenting the world of art and stone, with demonstrations, exhibitions, stone carving for the visitors, an exciting supporting programme of events and supervised activities to keep the children happy. Click here to see the full programme.

And if you want to make a longer holiday of your visit, it is one the most scenic areas of Europe to explore with delightful villages and historic architecture.