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On Sunday 21st June 17 members set off from Biddestone on a warm but overcast day to Collets Bottom Wood, where a short refreshment stop was taken. Pressing on from there they reached the Macmillan Way where the two groups split, eight members continuing on the 9 mile walk.
On reaching the Macmillan Way nine walkers headed north on the short 6.5 mile walk. They followed the Macmillan Way along Weavern Lane to Slaughterford. Here they detoured amongst the old buildings that once formed part of the paper mills; and past the remains of Rag Mill. The mill, built in 1790, was used to process rags into pulp for paper making. On reaching By Brook they stopped at a popular place where the river affords an ideal paddling spot for people and dogs. This was the lunch stop and they tried some bird spotting. They then made their way back uphill along Slaughterford Road and across fields to Ham Lane to reach Biddestone.
The longer walk passed through the beautiful valley beside By Brook and the lane to reach Colerne. After a steady climb up with many fine views a welcome lunch break was taken. After lunch the group took the footpath to Thickwood with lovely views. From there they made their way past Hall Farm with chickens, ducks and horses, to Colerne Down. Passing some cottages, two nanny goats joined the group until they found some low lying tree branches to nibble. Reaching By Brook again they crossed two footbridges to the ruins of Rag Mill. Reaching the hamlet of Slaughterford they ascended Ham Lane and returned to Biddestone.
Sixteen Ramblers set out from Oakridge Lynch on a cloudy morning for an eight mile circular walk. They headed east through Iles Green and up to Far Oakridge farm, before following the path towards Siccaridge wood. After emerging on the road near Spring House, they wandered through the Daneway Bank Nature Reserve, where a mixture of blue butterflies and colourful wild flowers were observed. At the other end they headed north across fields to Tunley Cottages. Crossing the lane, they continued north through fields to reach the Field Barn. Using the busy Miserden road for a short distance - they soon joined a bridleway next to West Lodge. The group left the muddy track through a gate, and went down a secluded grassy valley. Next they walked along the lane to the Saxon church of St Marys. After having lunch there- the party headed west out of Edgeworth, along School Lane and Ashletts Road. They crossed the Miserden road again and found a track adjacent to a yellow rape field. They turned left off the track near some springs. Here they followed a garlic lined path down through Monsell Wood, to find the stepping stones in the Holy Brook. Next they climbed up the bank to reach Lower Througham Slad Farm. From here they climbed up to Hayhedge Lane and used a path to Vellatts Copse. After passing Limbricks Farm and a friendly dog - the walkers headed south to Waterlane before joining the road back.
On Sunday 7th June 23 members and 2 guests travelled to the Forest of Dean for a 10 mile walk, with the option of a shorter 6 mile walk. The walk was led by Steve and Ann Jones, members of the local Forest group. Starting at Speech House woodlands car park they walked towards the Stained Glass Window, a feature of the Sculpture Trail created in 1985. Crossing the road they walked through the Cyril Hart Aboretum which has 400 trees and was named after Dr Cyril Hart, a local historian and Queen's Verderer. They then reached Speech House House Lake and walked onwards to Mallards Pike.
After a coffee break the group continued for a mile and then the short walk group returned to start via Spruce Drive. The longer walk continued to the New Fancy viewpoint which, as well as affording great views over the forest, is a great place for watching buzzards and goshawks. Lunch was taken at Cannop Ponds, in a beautiful valley, very popular on this beautiful sunny day. The route then continued along the valley passing more sculptures on the before climbing up towards the Beechenhurst Centre, where some members had tea and cakes before returning home.
It was a splendid summers evening, with clear skies and bright sun, which was perfect for the 4½ miles walk by 18 members at Minchinhampton.
Starting by the church, after walking down Knapp Lane, the walk turned westward along Besbury Common, with fine views beyond Golden Valley. The return route was across the Common, with swathes of buttercups and views of the Nailsworth Valley.
Fortunately, the rain had cleared up by the time 15 Ramblers and 2 guests set off from Neigh Bridge car park to walk in the Water Park, and by coffee time, the sun had managed to put in a fleeting appearance. The group followed the Thames Path before crossing the river to walk along paths and causeways between the lakes, where there were clouds of iridescent blue damselflies flying everywhere.
After cutting their way through the brambles that had overgrown the narrow path, the ramblers headed northwards through the Country Park, past the circle of carved wooden animals, towards Shorncote. They then returned across fields and through woods frothing with cow parsley, pausing briefly to admire the medieval church and manor house at Somerford Keynes and also the impressive early 19th century Somerford Keynes House, once the vicarage, and the former school buildings.
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