18 members of Brighton U3A visited the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean on a walking holiday. They chose to stay at Dean Valley Manor (formerly Lindors). Our guide was asked to find a flat walk in the Forest so a walk around the Speech House woods was devised for them.
A visit to the Sculpture Trail “window” and Woorgreens Lake was accompanied by a cacophony of calls from resident geese. The brand-new Woorgreens gravel path will proove invaluable to visitors in wetter weather. Finally a visit to Speech House Lake rounded off the trip. The guests were well used to seeing bluebells – which they said appear earlier in the year back home in Brighton.
More than 20 guests from Whitemead tackled a 9 mile circular walk from Parkend on a beautiful Spring day. An unusual sight was encountered at the Parkend Beech (tree) where a small Ash sapling is growing from a bole in the Beech tree.
With a perfect temperature for walking, the walkers tackled the ascent from Pillowell to Yorkley. A Sounder of wild boar was observed from a respectful distance at the trig point at Yorkley Wood.
A lunch stop was taken at Mallards Pike where the Forestry Commission have thoughtfully provided tables and benches for visitors.
Finally the walkers inspected the wonderful Geomap and the rapidly disappearing view from New Fancy viewpoint.
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.