Wyndham name returns to Clearwell

After closing it’s doors as the Wyndham Arms Inn three years ago and abandoning it’s historic name, the Inn and the Wyndham name are set to return to Clearwell. After a spell as a guest house called The Clearwell and another spell as Crosswell House the new name is the Wyndham Country Inn.

Many of the buildings we see in Clearwell today are the legacy of a Clearwell girl born Caroline Wyndham. She returned to the village in her later years as Caroline, Dowager Countess of Dunraven.
In the late 1800’s she engaged architect John Middleton and had St Peter’s church and a small cottage hospital built. She helped with building the village school, repairing the village Cross and Well and re-building the Mortuary Chapel. She also restored her childhood home, Clearwell Castle. Many people will therefore welcome the return of her family name to the village.

Pine Martens released in the Forest of Dean

Pine Marten released in the Forest of Dean woodlands.

Nine pairs of Pine Marten from Scotland have been released in remote locations in the Forest of Dean. To keep a track on progress these Pine Marten are wearing radio collars.

Forestry England added that Pine Marten at low density (population) forage on fruit, fungi and a range of prey including grey squirrel.

They are described as elusive and shy animals only having “a few kits each year” – so visitors will need to be very lucky to see them.

New Fancy Viewpoint gets a trim.

New Fancy Viewpoint has been trimmed.

The viewpoint at New Fancy has received a well needed trim-up as some of the re-generative vegetation has been cut back. It is currently once again possible to get a glimpse of the Cotswolds if you know which way to look.

Humbug rock found on walk

A group of 22 walkers, ranging from tiny toddlers to retired stalwarts, some visiting from Switzerland and Thailand, joined a Forest of Dean guide for a walk from the Whitemead site in Parkend. Walkers strolled gently on the old railway line from Parkend to Cannop Ponds, coming off the track, past the stoneworks, and joining the historic Bicslade tramroad. They turned off to see the dramatic statue of two young brothers who died in a tragic accident at the Union Colliery in 1902.

Statue of the James Brothers

Imagine everyone’s surprise when a Forest of Dean Rock was found on the statue! This brought a smile to the tearful faces of all who contemplated the disaster. The beautifully painted rocks are distributed around the Forest, then transported to other locations. This particular one depicted baby wild boars — known as little humbugs. Who knows where this one will next be found?

Forest of Dean Rock
Forest of Dean Rock — little humbugs

SE Fitness visits the Forest of Dean

SE Fitness, a walking and running group based around Sutton Park near Sutton Coldfield, chose the Forest of Dean for their mid-summer walking trip.

Close to 40 enthusiastic walkers met three Forest of Dean tour guides in Parkend. They quickly divided into three groups and were led in three different directions to their ultimate destination — the Speech House.

One group had a quick tour of Parkend, learning all about the importance of iron and coal mining. They took a gentle walk on the old railway line toward Cannop Ponds, where they watched swans and ducks enjoying the sun. The second group set off through Nagshead RSPB nature reserve and eventually crossed paths with the first group at Cannop. The third group sped through the woods, passing one of the Forest of Dean’s remaining ancient oaks, past New Fancy — site of a large colliery — before making their way to Speech House.

At Speech House the three groups came together for lunch in the Verderers Court Room. The Room is still the meeting place of the Verderers, an ancient body of judicial officers who once dealt with Forest offences such as poaching the monarch’s venison. The Verderers’ authority is more limited now.

SE fitness members went home satisfied after a successful day, grateful that the weather co-operated, holding off the menacing clouds.

A photo showing visitors inside the Verderers Court at the Speech House
Visitors inside the Verderers Court at the Speech House