As CSMA (now named Boundless: https://www.boundless.co.uk/ ) enters it’s 100th year, on a chilly but mostly dry morning, fourteen of the guests taking part in a Boundless Rally at Whitemead Park, Parkend joined our guide on a Forest walk .
Frank Edwards, the founder of CSMA would surely be delighted that people are still enjoying the comradeship and experiences offered by Boundless to this day.
CSMA opened Whitemead Park for guests in 1971. Prior to that Whitemead was the home of the Deputy Surveyor of the Forest of Dean. A massive tree planting program took place in the Forest of Dean from the early 1800’s, directed from Whitemead by the Deputy Surveyor – at that time an official of the Crown.
Since 1971, many improvements have been effected by CSMA to make Whitemead the popular and well-loved facility that it is today. Many guests make return visits. The guide pointed out the variety seen in the Forest when making visits during the differing seasons.
Before setting out, the guide pointed out the various memorial stones on the Whitemead site, most of them having a connection with former Deputy Surveyor Philip Baylis.
People always love their dogs but in an era that pre-dates the motor car, horses were very important for transporting people and goods. The stones include, Satan his beloved dog, Nelly Bly his horse, Towzer another dog and Madge a favourite Mare.
These have all been preserved by staff at Whitemead and placed in prominent positions where guests can easily find them more than 100 years later.
The walkers were interested to hear about the feral wild boar, the pine martens and the beavers – all more recent additions to the Forest of Dean fauna. They were shown newly created plantations and an ancient oak tree, the Charles II Oak dating from the late 1600’s. The guide explained why occasional houses with extensive grounds can be found deep in the woodlands. He also outlined some of the unique local traditions.
As it was March 1st, with Wales just across the nearby river Wye, the guests, they did their walking ‘ upon St David’s Day’.