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Underground and overground in the Forest of Dean

Awoke to the gentle patter of rain on the roof and unfortunately a few drops found there way into the van. We had tried to stem the leak previously but it appears we used the wrong sealant. On returning from the day out I was once again head and shoulders through the roof light with an extremely messy sealant. Rain again tonight so fingers crossed.

We set off to a pre booked mine tour. Initially I thought it was a tin mine but was mistaken they mind for iron and still mine for ochre on a small scale. Ochre is I belive a ferric oxide and when mixed with clays it is still used as a pigment and artists paint.

We went down into the mines after learning some of the history. Iron had been mined here for centuries and there are many old small mines dotted around the forest. Most of the mines were family business and the conditions were truly horrific.


We were unescorted so took our time wandering through the tunnels and caves.



Apparently the Forest has many caves and the miners used these to form the basis of there mining adding tunnels as and when needed.


It's a sobering thought when you remember the people who worked and often died in these mines.


A bit of art was commissioned to celebrate those people who worked here. Using the ochre dug from the mine.



We then went on to local woodlands to walk the sculpture walk. Which gave Gordon a walk but in truth was underwhelming.


The above wa the highlight!

The woods were worth a look.


Went to look around the local town Colevile branded as the jewel of the Forest. Very run down and not worth making a detour.

Whilst there we saw loads of poster's about saving a couple of reservoirs as the damns are becoming unstable and the concern is if they give way it would be disastrous for people living below. It looks like it's too expensive to repair?


The top lake.

And the bottom one.


Beautiful and we had a very pleasant stroll around them.

Hoping to organise a bike ride tomorrow.

We've extended our stay in Monmouth until Thursday as there's so much to see and do here. We are then planning on heading up to Brecon!

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