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WYE

EXPLORER

Wye Woodland

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Wild In the Weald

Aaah magic, wonderful, far out, full on, beautiful, listen, inhale and exhale. We know that woodlands and forests the world over have fascinated people for centuries and before that sustained many more. Even today woodlands are a source of life and living as they provide materials for a multitude of products and of course inspiration for a load more people who come to enjoy the natural beauty and wildness of a woodland or forest.

Wildness and or nature is all pervasive in woodlands especially desiduous woodlands that can sustain much more than a pine plantation, which has its appeal but not much bio diversity. Here in the Wye catchment there are some amazing woodlands and forests, which the river is famous for and here we would liike to introduce some of them to you.

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Starting in the Lower Wye & the Woolhope Dome of Herefordshire these two areas of the River Wye system reveal some amazing places in which to immerse yourself in.

The Woods

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Hudnalls - Lower Wye. We've covered these woods already and yet it's worth a reminder. There is a great section hike you can do that takes in both sides of the river Wye and some fantastic woodland terrain. Starting at Cleddon Falls you can drop down into Llandogo, walk the Wye to Bigsweir Bridge and from there either approach the Hudnalls via Lower Meend and St Briavels, which means a hill climb but great views or continue along the river through to the Hudnalls via Knoll Farm and or Mean High Water. Whatever you choose the hike and Hudnalls brings to life ancient woodland amid a river scape that's one of the best in the UK.

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Owner - Natural England. Site PDF File

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Symonds Yat - Lower Wye What's different about these woods or about the valley below. It's been written about and talked about for centuries so what can we show you? Well our experience has mainly to do with stealth camping whereupon we can be visited by fox in the night, Wild Boar, Fallow Deer and a dawn chorus that's good for even the most distant of natural observers. Symonds Yat of course is famous for its Perigrine Falcons, the awesome Coldwell Rocks with its Iron Age Cave and country sports on the valley floor, its huge U Bend in the Wye, which adds to the areas scenic value and what would have been a defensive view point for the Hill Fort of the aformentioned Iron age. History aside Rock climbing is big in this area as is mountain biking and walking through the miles of trails in the surrounding woods, which contain the 1950’s timber café cabin, Biblins Swing Bridge, waterfalls, the Wye Rapids, ancient oaks, yews and lime trees as well as your spruce and connifer.

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Owner - Forestry Commission. Keep it clean. Website

Beyond are more caves at Doward (King Arthurs cave), the massive suck stone the largest detatched rock in Britain and of course inns such as the Saracens Head. It's a full on day out, which should create many good memories into the night also if you choose to stay at the inns, the many local camp sites or stealth it like we do.

Quick Guide: Access is via the A466 at Brockweir or Bigsweir - Bus is via Monmouth or Chepstow - On foot access can be obtained via public footpaths either to the North at Bigsweir or South at Brockweir.

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Owner Forestry Commision. Keep It clean Website

At the base of the woods is of course Ross On Wye where you can kick back and take in some fluids or food or if you choose do this amid the woods. To the West of Chase Woods is Coughton Marsh an SSSI, which is the largest remaining example of alder Alnus glutinosa woodland and one of the rarest types of woodland represented in the Wye Valley. If your into March then have a mooch.

Quick Guide: Bus 34 Monmouth - Bus 32 & 33 Hereford (see this guide) - car parking is at Ross On Wye or Fernbank Road off the B4234. Full access via way marks and public footpaths.

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West Wood - Hereford. Private Woodland (Unkown). West Wood is a former Forestry Commission wood 5 miles East of Hereford near the village of Mordiford where the legend of the Wyvern Dragon stimulates the imagination to this day. With awesome views of the River Wye, parts of Hereford City and the Black Mountains beyond it's a resonant spot with locals and visitors alike. There you'll find good laid out track ways amid a steep wooded escarpment leading to Fownhope Park to the South. Running paralell to the Wye and its left bank it's an intresting day out amid what's essentially a gateway into the Woolhops Dome a Limestone rich area that's famed for its non intensified farming and extensive woodland. If you want the 'old ways', a place to walk the dog, mountain biking or a spot of stealth camping then this is the right place to explore.

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Quick Guide: Bus 453 Hereford to Fownhope - Bus 454 Hereford to Woolhope (see this guide) - car parking is off the B4224 at Mordiford Moon Inn. Full access via way marks and public footpaths.

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Lodgegrove Brook Valley & Woods - Ruardean. Gloucestershire This is simply a beautiful valley or grove. One of the most beautiful places to walk in the Wye Valley. It's only short and a relatively small wood but the feeling in the valley is grand. The estate is well kept with grass even mown in places. Access is strict and guided by the estate owners. It can be a little off putting to see the estate signage but in the main we recommend this walk up through the Grove, which features Lodgebrook Grove the brook that runs through it into the Wye. Woodlands that make up the grove are: Grove Wood, Old Wood, The Task, Round Wood, Ferny Bank, Allens Grove and Broomy Hall all of which once formed the Chase of the Bishops of Hereford – a wild wooded district lying between the Forest of Dean and the River Wye.

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Quick Guide: Bus 35 Ross to Monmouth - Bus 35 Monmouth to Ross getting off at Lydbrook (see this guide) - car parking is at Ruardean off the A4136 or B4234. Full access via way marks and public footpaths.

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