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Road-trips

Road trip to mystic site of Puzzlewood, Fairy Woodland & Clearwater Caves

Saturday 28 April.

Departing Putney at 830am 

£85 p.p includes minibus and entrance fee. 

 Ancient Woodland... England as it once was.... fairies, elves and the devic kingdom... join us on a journey to an area of exception energies and magic!

Puzzlewood is an ancient woodland, near Coleford in the Forest of Dean. The woods cover 14 acres, and are probably the best example of pre-Roman, Celtic opencast iron mines in the area.

 

The area contains strange rock formations, secret caves and ancient trees, with a confusing maze of paths. Puzzlewood is said to be one of J. R. R. Tolkien's inspirations for Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings.

 

The geological features on show at Puzzlewood are known as scowles. Scowles originated through the erosion of natural underground cave systems formed in the Carboniferous Limestone many millions of years ago. Uplift and erosion caused the cave system to become exposed at the surface.

 

The magical scenery of Puzzlewood has made it a popular location for filming including Harry Potter, Dr Who, Merlin and Atlantis.

 

Clearwater Caves

 

An extensive natural cave system, set in a beautiful valley. Walk through the show-caves and mine workings with exciting displays throughout. Remarkably, Clearwell Caves have produced artists' pigment for over 4,500 years and ochre pigments are still mined here today. You see our ochre workshop where pigment is still produced. Iron ore was mined here for over 2,000 years, until 1945; making Clearwell Caves one of the most complex and ancient mine systems in Britain. Going underground here is a great experience for all the family and an essential part of any visit to the Forest of Dean.

We will be departing from Putney at 830am, and leaving Puzzlewood at around 6pm. Expected journey time approx 2 hours. 15 spaces available. Deposit £25, email me at [email protected] for payment transfer details.

Road trip to Howl Night: Wolf Conservation Trust

Friday 18th May 1715 minibus collection time from Putney

The evening consists of a talk on wolves and their different methods of communication, focusing especially on their different vocalisations and the reasons for them. Following the presentation you'll head outdoors and will be able to put theory into practice, by letting out a howl and seeing what the wolves do in response!

Wolf Communication.

Ask anyone how wolves communicate and the howl will most probably be the first answer you get, even though they communicate in a range of methods through sound, smell and body language. Wolf sounds range from the spine-tingling howl that calls the pack together and plays a huge role in socialisation and bonding, to the rough short bark that signifies fear and is used to warn other pack members of the threat and to scare away intruders. Other sounds include the whine, whimper, yelp, growl and snarl, all of which are probably heard more often than the howl, and yet it's the howl that defines the wolf and fascinates us.

So why do wolves howl?

Wolves range over vast areas in search of food and are often separated from one another. Of all their calls, howling works best over long distance. Its low pitch and long duration are well suited for transmission in forest and across tundra, the unique features of each individual's howl allow wolves to recognise each other and make contact. Howling to a wolf is what the telephone is to us. Howling has its costs as well as benefits, however; howl too close to a rival pack and there may be trouble. Consequently, wolves are generally careful about where, when and to whom they howl.

Why not come along to a Howl Night and see if the wolves howl back to you? Please note there is no wolf contact or walk at this event.

Cost per person £45

Cost includes minibus and entrance ticket.

Meeting at 515 pm in Putney, full address given on ticket purchase. 14 spaces available. Actual event is 7pm until 9pm. 515 meet for minibus.

Ankerwycke Yew: Meditations and Shamanic Journeying

Saturday 2 June 10-6

We will be visiting the 2,500 year old Ankerwycke Yew for a meditation and shamanic journey to connect with the wisdom and knowledge it holds. Time afterwards to spend time with the Yew and enjoy a peaceful walk.

 

Ankerwycke yew

 

The National Trust's oldest tree, this iconic 2,500 year old yew is steeped in history. According to popular belief, it was beneath this tree that King Henry VIII courted Anne Boleyn, and some reports suggest that he even proposed in its shadow. While Magna Carta is said to have been sealed at Runnymede, there are those who argue that the event actually took place on the other side of the river, perhaps under this very yew.

 

St Mary's priory

 

These crumbling walls were once a nunnery, built during the reign of Henry II and dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene. Following the dissolution of the monasteries the priory passed into private hands, and was patched up many times over the years. During the 19th and 20th centuries much of the surviving building fell into disrepair, and today only a few overgrown walls remain.

 

Wildlife

 

Ankerwycke is home to wildlife in abundance. Listen out for the loud, laughing calls of the green woodpeckers, or see if you can spot them feeding on insects in the woods. The emerald dragonfly and large red dragonfly are often visible darting between the ponds, and in spring the bare ground is carpeted with snowdrops, thought to be planted here in Victorian times

 

Cost: TBA shortly, awaiting costs of minibus  

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