LOWER Wye Ramblers were treated to some great walks exploring the beautiful scenery and fascinating history of the area during May which was National Walking Month.
To kick off the programme, the group explored the industrial past and wildlife with a walk taking in Nags Head RSPB reserve, Bixslade Tramway, Cannop Ponds, and Parkend Station.
The following week, members explored the beautiful countryside of Monmouthshire, where there were bluebells in abundance.
The third walk of the month, along the lanes, woods and fields around the historic village of St Briavels, included a stop in Quarrel Field, the possible site of crossbow quarrel production that helped to supply weapons for Henry III’s and Edward I’s “Great Arsenal”.
The group ended their month of walks in the foothills of the Black Mountains, with a walk up to Twyn Y Gaer Iron Age fort that offered spectacular 360-degree views over the valleys.
The group is celebrating two anniversaries this year – its 30th anniversary and the 20 years of its successful booklet Lower Wye Rambles.
Profits from sales of the booklet, which is now in its fifth edition, have been donated to projects to maintain and improve paths in the area.
This month’s programme includes a five-mile ‘ramble’ in the Lydbrook area before paying a visit to a summer fair to support a local charity.
The walk on Sunday, June 11, is of moderate difficulty and heads to the top of Coppet Hill to enjoy stunning views of the valley below.
There will also be a visit to the Orchard Trust’s Summer Fair in Lydbrook, to support the work the charity does for the local community.
The Orchard Trust provides residential accommodation - care homes and supported living homes - and support for adults with learning difficulties, along with life-supporting activities such as a smallholding, a therapy suite, a day centre, and learning facilities.
A spokesperson for the ramblers said: “As the Trust provides care and accommodation for one of its members, combining a walk with a visit to the Summer Fair is the group’s way of showing its support for the charity’s work”.
The walk starts at 10 am from the lay-by alongside Stowfield Road, half a mile from Lower Lydbrook.
After crossing the River Wye on a disused railway bridge, the walk goes alongside the river for a mile before climbing up to the top of Coppet Hill, which offers views over the Wye valley and beyond, before descending through woodland and returning to the start point in time to attend the nearby Summer Fair.
Participants are asked to bring a drink and snack, while additional refreshments available at the Summer Fair.