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Seasonal area

September 2013

Current Seasonal Area is here

A secluded scene this month for the Annual Forest of Dean picture. These seem to feature a certain tendency to focus on lakes. This one is one of the Soudley Ponds, which are situated in a quiet part of the Forest away from the core tourist section circled by the former Severn and Wye Railway.

The Ponds served the industry at Soudley. Since there is no longer any substantial industry to speak of in the Soudley area, the Ponds now offer a delightful area to walk around while keeping the Forestry Commission's contractors in business rebuilding the dams. They're too small and tightly wooded for decent fishing and so generally demonstrate a handy example of something that is being maintained despite offering minimal tangible benefits to humans.

Visitors to the Ponds are strongly encouraged by our sponsor, a shadowy figure who was too busy having a lie-in to brief us on how to be sponsored when we last met, to visit the Dean Heritage Centre. This can be found at the bottom end of the Ponds on the main road from somewhere to somewhere else which in the process manages to find itself in Soudley and loses no time in pressing back into the Forest. A less important road works on a similar basis as it scuttles up the west flank of the Ponds, kindly hidden by trees. Soudley is also on the former Newnham to Cinderford railway line, originally known as the Bullo Pill Railway (after its Severnside destination) and later owned by the Great Western and its nationalised successor; the latter unfortunately closed the scenic line to passengers in 1958. In any event the Ponds were not visible from the train, which skirted the confluence between their stream and the local principal watercourse while safely enclosed in Bradley Hill Tunnel.

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Last modified 31/08/2013

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