Gate between 42 and 43

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.


Intermediate waymark added between 47 and 48

A photo of an intermediate sign 0 to No 48
Intermediate sign – to No. 48

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.


Mods. to waymarks 27, 28 and 32.

A photo showing the waymark on Post 29 modified
Waymark on Post 27 modified with a wedge to provide more accurate alignment.

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.


New Freemine

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.

A foxglove in Parkhill Inclosure

Walk booklets now available

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.


Walk booklet with the Printer

The 12 page booklet to accompany the walk will be available soon.

A photo showing Waymark signs at no. 44.
Waymark signs at a public footpath

All waymarks now in place

The final waymarks are now in place. The last ones to be added were attached to the new heritage lottery funded kissing gate at no. 47. This replaced a difficult to climb stile. We are grateful to the landowner for his cooperation and help in making this possible.

A photo of the new kissing gate at Brockhollands
Lottery funded Kissing Gate at waymark no. 47

Princess Royal spoil heap trim-up.

When the colliery closed, the spoil heap of Princess Colliery was planted with trees to stabilise the slope. Since then, the trees have grown up and been joined by many “self-setters”. The trees are now being thinned.

A photo showing Princess Royal spoil heap - photo (c) Robin Phelps
Princess Royal spoil heap – photo (c) Robin Phelps

This photo, taken from Yorkley Wood by Robin Phelps, shows the valley of the river Lyd enveloped in fog with the top of the Princess Royal spoil heap above the top of the fog. Bream (top left) is in sunshine.

A photo of Princess Royal spoil tip from the Lydney road
Princess Royal spoil tip from the Lydney road

This photo, a detail from an old postcard, shows the spoil heap before tree growth had become established. Park Hill is in front of the spoil heap.


Moss on the forest floor.

The recent wet weather has given rise to unusual moss growth on the forest floor. The moss is growing on the stems of very small saplings.

A photo showing moss growth on the forest floor
Moss growth on the forest floor