Speech House walkers visit Exmoor Ponies at Woorgreens Nature Reserve

Guests at Speech House were treated to a Boxing Day walk. They viewed the oaks around Speech House, planted and dedicated to various members of the royal family, they admired a well-loved stained glass work called Cathedral, they visited Woorgreens Lake which was formed by open cast coal mining.

But the highlight of the walk was a visit to the Woorgreens Nature Reserve, developed by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. This is an enclosed area of wild grasses, heathers, gorse, hardy trees, and a variety of wildlife. Insects and birds thrive in the area.

Unfortunately the resident English longhorn cattle had just been moved on. However the walkers were able to view the charming Exmoor ponies who act as a natural lawn mower. One of the walkers who lives locally has contributed a photo.

If you want to see the ponies, don’t put it off too long. They will be moved along to another site sometime in the spring.

Exmoor ponies
Rob ‘Savage’ Sargent captures the ponies on film


Walk before Christmas Lunch — Speech House

Christmas guests at Speech House enjoyed much more than a lavish dinner. Guests were invited to put on their boots and join a Xmas morning with with a Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Tour guide. Using Spruce Ride as a base, the walk zigged and zagged back and forth, taking in Speech House Lake, Reform Bridge, the disused railway path, and peeking into the Cyril Hart Arboretum. Besides the growing spruces, walkers saw abundant Douglas Firs, beech trees, Scots pines, birches, and the mighty oak trees for which the Forest of Dean is famous.

Walkers got back to Speech House in time to don their glad rags and feast on canapes and cocktails. Not bad!

Walker trying to control his dog!


Oregon Traveling Rock found in Forest of Dean

Walkers in the Forest of Dean are used to finding Forest Rocks — small rocks decorated and left in obscure places to be found and enjoyed by anybody passing.

A Forest of Dean guide was checking footpaths for a walk from Speech House that was to cover Woorgreen’s Nature Reserve and Woorgreen’s Lake. The guide found such a rock near the beloved stained glass window, Cathedral, part of the Sculpture Trail. However when examined, it turned out to be an Oregon Traveling Rock! Somehow the rock had traveled many thousands of miles. We can only imagine what it has experienced along the way.

Oregon Traveling Rock

Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Tour guides come to the rescue again

When a tour guide received a phone call from Richmond’s Coaches in Hertfordshire asking him to do a coach tour the very next day, he happily obliged. If he had been unavailable, he would have found a colleague to help out.

The tour started from Bell’s Hotel in Coleford. One of the tourists had been evacuated to Bell’s School during WWII when she was a young child. Her reminiscences were very poignant, and welcomed by the group.

The group visited both the Dean Heritage Centre in Soudley and Taurus crafts near Lydney. Along the way the guide pointed out the industrial heritage of the Forest of Dean. He also named some of the notable VIP’s such as Jimmy Young, Dennis Potter and Harry Potter.

Forest of Dean tour guides come to the rescue!

When the members of the Rockfield WI in Monmouthshire found out that the speaker for their November meeting had double-booked, they knew exactly where to turn for help.

The contacted the Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Tour Guides to step in and fill the sudden gap. The guides have experienced, qualified speakers who have traveled as far as Oxfordshire to enlighten and entertain organisations. With an extensive list available, the guides were able to find something to satisfy the local WI group.

The guide who saved the day spoke on “A Tale of Two Rivers”, covering the two rivers surrounding the Forest of Dean — the Severn and the Wye. However, given the group’s proximity to the River Wye, the guide focused mainly on the Severn, and contoured the talk to meet the needs of the local group.

If your group finds yourself in a similar predicament, don’t hesitate to contact us!