Details of a Forest of Dean walk from the Stenders through the woods and downhill to Drybrook village.
I had a quick opportunity to have a walk in the Forest of Dean before meeting the family on Sunday. I got dropped at the top of the Stenders and walked through the woods to the eventual destination in Drybrook village. Interestingly, they had cleared part of the woodland, this resulted in seeing some interesting wildflowers.
There are various options for walks in the area, some on wide forest roads and others on overgrown narrow paths. The area is popular with dog walkers and ramblers.
The site is a great launchpad for longer walks locally and easily accessible from the hourly bus from Gloucester. If you wanted to stay overnight, Greenway Farm is a campsite nearby and a great base to explore the local area.
The Stenders Quarry Nature Reserve is a 7 acre biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest. They designated the site an SSSI for its important geological features, although there is a diverse selection of plants and animals in the reserve.
Plants to watch out for in the area include kidney vetch, cowslip, yellow-wort, ploughman’s-spikenard, large thyme, blue fleabane and the common spotted-orchid. Ferns such as black spleenwort, wall-rue, lady-fern and polypody and hart’s-tongue grow locally. For Bird watchers, there are ample opportunities to observe the Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Goldcrest and many other common birds. The reserve is also home to a variety of snails and butterflies, including the Marbled White Butterfly.
The Village of Drybrook is nearby and downhill from the forest, it is on the hillside and has splendid views. The village has a few shops, a chippy and a local pub to stop at for refreshments.
Heading down hill to the west is the village of Mitcheldean, which has a variety of shops, a brewery and a decent local pub called The White Horse. The village has a medieval church at the bottom of The Stenders.
Not too far to walk and also mentioned on the @aboutglos gold mining page is Wigpool. The nature reserve at Wigpool is a remnant of the acidic bog and heathland that once covered most of Wigpool Common. The pool is within a large conifer plantation with a good range of acidic-marshland plants. Wildfowl, common frogs, palmate and smooth newts call this reserve home. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust manages this site and is open all year round.
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