The “Thursday Walkers”

All Saints churchyard
All Saints churchyard, Newland.

Hastings and St Leonards Natural History Group

Day 2

The Hastings and St Leonards Natural History Group on a walk devised and lead by the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Tour Guides.

The walkers from Sussex enjoyed warm sunshine as the guides described the local Forest area which has many things in common with their home territory. Both the Forest of Dean and Sussex had iron industries dating back to at least Roman times.

At Newland, All Saints the “Thursday Walkers” learned of the connection between the Hall and Gage families of the former Highmeadow House here in the Forest and their own Firle Place back in Sussex.

Bob their driver from Hams Travel was on hand at Redbrook to offer a visit to Monmouth in the afternoon as an alternative to the pleasant walk up to the Kymin with the Roundhouse,  the Naval Temple and the fabulous view over Monmouth and far beyond.

Kingfisher Cruises
Thursday Walkers on a Kingfisher Cruise and ascending the Little Doward

Day 1

Following a visit to English Bicknor,  the Thursday Walkers enjoyed a river trip on the Wye at Symonds Yat East with Kingfisher Cruises before crossing the Wye on the Saracen’s Head rope ferry and tackling the ascent from the Biblins to King Arthur’s Cave and the Iron Age Hill Fort on the Little Doward

Previously the tour guides had shown them the salient points between English Bicknor with it’s Motte and Bailey remains and Symonds Yat Rock with the ramparts of  the iron age promontory hill fort and world famous view.

At New Weir, Kate Biggs of the Wye Valley A.O.N.B. Overlooking the Wye project kindly summarised the work being carried out to this important site. The interpretation was aided by the depiction of New Weir on the information board taken from an 1800 watercolour by Hereford artist James Wathen


Daffodils and Poets

Did they wander lonely as a cloud? No, they certainly did not. They strode purposefully as a dedicated group of hikers over vales and hills. And, yes, they saw a host of golden daffodils.

The St. Briavels 100 walk challenge started again on March 13. The walk was scheduled to coincide with the beginning of daffodil season in an area that used to be renowned for its commercially grown flowers. Even the local railway line was known as the “Daffodil Line”, so important was this to the area.  But that’s not all. The charming village of Dymock is also know in literary circles for the famous group of poets who settled there before World War I. They must have been inspired by Wordsworth!

C.S.M.A. Walk

A party of guests from C.S.M.A., Whitemead Park, Parkend enjoyed a morning walk devised and led by a Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Tour Guide.

Goshawk spotters at New Fancy Viewpoint
Goshawk spotters at New Fancy Viewpoint

A party of guests from C.S.M.A., Whitemead Park, Parkend enjoyed a morning walk devised and led by a Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Tour Guide. Unseasonably warm weather and clear skies saw the party of walkers, which included 2 babies a Dalmation and a King Charles Spaniel reach New Fancy viewpoint in bright sunshine. Goshawk spotters were already out in force – but no gos’ had been spotted as yet.  The next walk will be on Weds. 30th March 2011.

Walk of the Month, The Independent on Sunday

‘Walk of the Month’ in the Independent on Sunday of 6th March 2011 was based in the Forest of Dean.

You can almost hear the corks pop
You can almost hear the corks pop in these woods

The Independent – 6 March 2011

Journalist Mark Rowe’s ‘Walk of the Month’ in the Independent on Sunday of 6th March 2011 was based in the Forest of Dean. Mark was guided on his walk by a member of the Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Tour Guides, visiting some of the attractions that make the Forest of Dean special: New Fancy, Speech House Lake, Spruce Ride, the Speech House, the Sculpture Trail, Beechenhurst visitor centre, Cannop ponds and Monument Mine. The photo above shows the Verderer’s monument opposite the Speech House with a HOOF sign on the tree in the background. This is the sign that was taken down by Baroness Jan Royall of Blaisdon when the threat to our woodlands was averted.

A.O.N.B. walk to Trelech

Wye Valley A. O. N. B. walk, Sunday 6th March 2011

The first Wye Valley A.O.N.B. walk in their 40th anniversary year was devised and led by a Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Tour Guide. The walk took place on Trellech Beacon, with it’s reclaimed heathland, Exmoor ponies and and fine views . It continued to the interesting and mysterious attractions in Trelech itself, including the Virtuous Well, The Harold Stones, Tump Terret and the wonderful Sundial, located in St Nicholas church. Finally the walkers visited Cleddon Shoots to hear about the work that the Overlooking The Wye project had performed in the area.