The lambing season will be with us for the the next few months – so no matter how well behaved your dog is, PLEASE KEEP YOUR DOG ON A LEAD AND STAY ON THE FOOTPATH when following the public footpaths that cross farm land.
The exceptionally heavy rain that fell in December 2020 has left some of the tracks and paths on the heritage walk very muddy – the paths will remain muddy for some time.
Unusually, part of the forest track from Post 14 to Post 15 is covered in a couple of inches of flowing water. This extra water is taking the most direct route it can find down to the Oakwood Brook. On this section, wellingtons are currently needed if you want to keep your feet dry!. The water should clear after a few dry days.
Bream Sports Club has generously given permission to locate the feature for the Bream Heritage Walk in this prime location in the centre of Bream Village. The pegs in the foreground show where the feature will sit.
In the photo, Julie from the Foresters Forest is taking some measurements. Behind Julie, across the road is Bream Community Library.
To accompany the walk, a feature is being made at the Flourmill works in Bream. The feature will be a short section of tramroad set on original stone blocks from the Oakwood tramroad.
An original “chair” from the Oakwood tramroad was used to make a pattern. The pattern was then used to make a mould using sand into which molten iron was poured to form the six new cast-iron chairs shown in the photo above.
The chairs were cast in a Foundry in Birmingham.
Some people have been going astray between the stile at No 42 and the gap in the hedge at No.43. The route and the public footpath pass through the field gate ( not around it to the right) then follows the electricity wires to No 43. We have added an extra waymark disc before the gate to clarify the route.
With the permission of the landowner, an intermediate waymark sign has been added on the public footpath between waymarks 47 and 48.
When leaving the kissing gate at waymark No. 47, after walking 400m, you are approaching the end of the fields. Look ahead for a post with the waymark sign (“TO 48”) at the begining of a narrow footpath at the far left-hand side of the field.
The kissing gate at the far right of the field is a different public footpath and is not on our route.
As a result of feedback from walkers we have carried out improvements at waymark posts 27, 28 and 32.
Waymark 27 has been angled using a wedge to make it more obvious which track to take.
Waymark 28 has been moved to a different face on the post, again to make it more obvious which track to take.
Many thanks to those of you that have filled in the feedback survey highlighting what was found helpful on the walk and any problems encountered.
A further waymark disc was added to post 32 at the suggestion of a walker.
A new mine is being opened near Little Drybrook.
The Forest of Dean has a unique Freemining tradition. Custom has it that the right to freemine was given to Forest miners by Edward 1 for services given during his Scottish campaigns. This was probably confirming a right they already held as early as 1244.
To be a registered freeminer today a miner has to be over 21, born and live within the Hundred of St Briavels, and to have worked for a year and a day in a Forest mine.
This new mine is not far from the one that used to be at China Bottom on the Bream Heritage Walk near way mark No14. It will mine the same coal seams, and keep alive the ancient mining traditions of the Forest.
The bluebells have now gone, but there are still good floral displays to be seen. The foxgloves are out, and between way marks 26 and 27 make quite a display.
We don’t know why the foxglove got its name but its from the Old English foxes glofa. In the past children turned the flowers into their own dolls, finger puppets and pretend claws.
Although the foxglove is very poisonous, it was once widely used in folk medicine. When William Withering investigated the plant in the eighteenth century it was a turning point. He realised it was a good remedy for heart failure when used in precise quantities, and this led to the beginnings of modern prescription pharmacology. We now know the plant contains the heart drug digitalis which today is mostly prepared from imported foxglove leaves.
We now have booklets ready to accompany the Bream Heritage Walk. The 12 page booklet has a route map in the centre pages and information on some of the points of interest along the route.
Booklets are currently available from:
Sally’s Florist, Bream
Bream Community Library,
Andy the Butcher, Bream
Bream Post Office
Knockley at Bream Court
Miner’s Arms, Whitecroft
Bream Sports Club
The Coffee Shop, Bream
Central Stores, Bream
Please complete the short feedback survey when you have done any part of the walk.