Friends from Home and Abroad visit the Forest of Dean.

Visitors from California and Devon on a trip to the Forest.

On a beautiful, sunny, winter day, a group of friends from both sides of the Atlantic were shown three interesting sites in the Forest of Dean.

Dark Hill

Dark Hill near Coleford a few days previously
Dark Hill near Coleford a few days previously

They first visited Dark Hill and heard about the work of David and Robert Mushet, pioneers in metallurgy  while walking around the remains of the furnace and brickworks. The infamous high-profile trial of Beatrice Pace was mentioned before they spotted the Dark Hill bear and inspected the entrance to Mushet’s coal level.

Devil’s Chapel

An old photo of rocks in Devil's Chapel
An old photo of rocks in Devil’s Chapel

Next was a visit to Devil’s Chapel where the guide recited the poem of the same name written by Gloucestershire poet F. W. Harvey. ‘Back in the day’, Harvey presided over concerts in the woodland here given by the Whitecroft Male Voice Choir.

Lydney Harbour

A photo of Lydney Harbour
A photo of an empty Lydney Harbour outer basin. The lock gates are currently stuck in the open position.

Then came a visit to Lydney Harbour  with the unusual stone compass and slowly disappearing skeletons of beached barges on the riverside. There were great views up and down the Severn Estuary and towards the Cotswolds across the water.  Finally came a visit to Taurus Crafts – close to the site of the Roman temple to the god Nodens on Lydney Park Estate.

Summer Solstice in the Forest of Dean

Whitemead guests brave the heat on the Summer Solstice.

A photo of the Sundial at Ruardean Church
Above: the sundial at nearby Ruardean church, Gloucestershire with the latin inscription Lux Umbra Dei. The English inscription The Royal Path of Time is not a translation!

Fifteen Guests from Boundless (formerly C.S.M.A.) at Whitemead and a Terrier dog enjoyed a Woodland Walk from Parkend on the summer’s hottest day to date. The walk started just before 10am – that’s more than 5 hours after sunrise on the longest day of the year.

To counter the sun, there was plenty of shade provided by the trees lining the Forest tracks. The guests enjoyed seeing the wild roses that bloom on the New Fancy Viewpoint and hearing the croak of a lone Raven perched high in a tree.

Improvements are currently being made to the vehicle access to the Whitemead grounds.

Whitemead guests visit New Fancy Viewpoint

Whitemead guests enjoy the view from New Fancy.

A photo of Whitemead guests at New Fancy Viewpoint in May 2017
Whitemead guests at New Fancy Viewpoint in May 2017

A 7.5 Km walk failed to deter these young visitors to Whitemead. After inspecting the Geomap, the guests watched a pair of Swifts high above the viewpoint. A bird-watcher described the habits of the Swifts and told us how they spent much of their lives “on the wing”.