The Forest of Dean Today

By Webb, Keith | Contemporary Review, July 1995 | Go to article overview

The Forest of Dean Today


Webb, Keith, Contemporary Review


The Forest plateau is bounded by the lower reaches of the Severn to the east and by the Wye on the west. Mammoths and Hippos roamed the Wye Valley before the dawn of known history. It is now the haunt of canoeists. It was an area very much cut off from time until the coming of the Severn Road Bridge and the motorways. Today we define the area as being within the M4, M5, M50 and A40 box. 'Twixt Severn and Wye' is a more attractive description for an area of outstanding natural beauty. The English Tourist Board claims that the Forest of Dean is the best kept secret since the Second World War, but it will not be for much longer as the outside world's standards, pressures and practices are imposed.

The road signs in the Forest are the same as everywhere else. They are large to enable motorists to read them while they drive ever faster. In the Forest this does not take into account four thousand sheep, many on the roads, that roam freely by 'right'. The amount of damage a sheep can do to the average family saloon car is incredible. It doesn't do the sheep much good either although the 'Ship-badgers' (sheep owners) are quick to claim compensation for their loss.

Imagine driving through a scene of spreading oaks that were planted for England's (including Nelson's) navy standing majestically either side of the road when you come upon new traffic lights and street lights that have been installed in the middle of such inspiring scenery. There may be no other vehicles on the road but the lights might be set at red. It gives you the opportunity to contemplate the meaning of the universe, as you sit there waiting for them to change. Then you notice an ancient standing stone by the roadside. It is partly hidden by the grey box that controls the traffic lights and it is robbed of any prestige and awe by being dwarfed by the road signs. Who ever put 'The Long Stone' there did not have the advantage of a JCB digger to stand it up on end. On one night of the year it is said to bleed ff you prick it with a pin. What we have done makes you want to weep.

When I first saw the ruins at Dark Hill I literally fell for the place. Standing on the disused railway embankment I saw before me the massive shoulders of a stone bastion amidst the trees rising above a sea of bracken. What was it? Was it an Inca temple from which live sacrifices were thrown? But this was not South America or some other distant place that civilisation had forgotten, or was it? I felt very much as any explorer must feel when they first set eyes on the unknown. The bracken became denser as I pushed my way through shoulder high fronds to get to these imposing stone walls and buttresses. That is when I fell. Unsuspectingly I had walked into a deep gully that had been cut through the soft peat-like soil by a small stream running through the site. Shaken, but not hurt, I climbed out and lay there getting my breath back while looking up at the green canopy of bracken that had closed in above me.

I made enquiries to discover what I had stumbled upon. I was told, 'That's Mushet's place' - as though that would explain everything. Over the following years I took every opportunity to return to the Forest. Walking in the Dean's woods healed many emotional wounds and renewed my spirits. The people you met said what they meant and meant what they said. Each time, I left the Forest with more and more reluctance until one day I did not need to leave it again. Like many 'foreigners' [anyone not born in the forest is a foreigner!] I took the opportunity to live amongst the people I had come to love and respect. The property we bought has stone blocks of a dramroad (tramroad - the forerunner of railways) running along its southern boundary. Beyond, there lay impressive ruins of stone walls, terraces, buttresses, flights of steps and beautiful brick radial-patterned floors which have since been protected from frost by a covering of soil. The extensive ruins were clear for all to see because the undergrowth had been cut back by working parties. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Forest of Dean Today
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.