A group of 29 walkers chose the Churchill enclosure option for their guided walk. They enjoyed the unseasonal fine, warm weather and were rewarded by a great distant view of two Wild Boar in the Forest. Later they were able to see two Adders basking in the warm sunshine. After joining the bird watchers looking for Goshawk at New Fancy, it was an easy walk in the sunshine back to Parkend.
Walkers from Whitemead took advantage of a lull in the rain to enjoy the soft winter sunlight in the Forest.
After a day of rain and wind following a few dull days, the welcome sunshine illuminated the woodland with a delicate, soft light. Plenty of boar activity was evident near Parkend.
The visitors enjoyed the contrast between the Forest of Dean and their native N. Yotkshire and commented on the common theme of coal mining in both areas. Their 3 year old grandchild walked the whole route.
The prolonged dry spell and hot weather continues in the Forest but the walkers from Whitemead are un-deterred. The dogs on the weekly walk were very glad of the extra water carried for them by their thoughtful owners. In the hot weather remember to leave out water for wildlife in your garden.
A family group of walkers from the Midlands enjoyed the weekly Whitemead walk in slightly damp – but not unpleasant weather. They saw a new arrival in the yard at the Flourmill engine repair works.
The Hawthorn flowers are now past their best and are fading back ready to produce a new crop of bright red berries.
Bracken (locally known as ferns) are shooting up to replace the bluebells.
We will probably all remember April 2018 as cold, wet and just generally miserable!
It was on just such a day that we took out a group of bloggers who were staying at Hidden Valley Yurts, a glamping site at Llanishen, near Chepstow. They were staying in the yurts for four days and taking part in a number of outdoor activities in the area including, gorge scrambling and canoeing and, as it turned out a very soggy walk.
Having met in Tintern we walked along the Welsh banks of the River Wye through The Old Station Tintern to the riverside village of Brockweir where we crossed the river into England and the Forest of Dean.
At The Old Station, on the Wye Valley Railway, we heard about the Circle of Legends, six wooden sculptures, each featuring a historical or mythological Welsh Character.
The River Wye at Brockweir is still tidal and the village was the furthest point upstream that sailing boats from Bristol could reach. North from here everything moved by man-hauled flat bottomed trows. Today Brockweir is a sleepy village but then it was a thriving port, and some say, a place of drunkenness, vice and violence. In the 1830’s it had seven pubs but no church when the historic Moravian Chapel was built to “save their souls”.
From Brockweir we followed a historic route on the English side of the river back to Tintern with its Cistercian abbey. Normally in late April there are bluebells in the woods around here but this year the wild garlic, normally abundant in March, had not even come into flower.
It was an enjoyable, but wet walk and was rounded off by a visit to The Anchor, a riverside pub in Tintern for tea and (very big) cakes and in the case of the guide, a well-earned beer!