Other Live Webcams:
- Cinderford Town Council
- Belle Vue Centre - 6 Belle Vue Road
- Cinderford - Gloucestershire
- England GL14 2AB - United Kingdom
- 01594 822599
- [email protected]
Gloucestershire's countryside can satisfy a host of interests from canoeing on the River Wye and caving or rock climbing in the Forest of Dean to windsurfing and jet-skiing in the Cotswold Water Park. The county's beauty provides inspiration for artists and photographers and is a haven for birdwatchers, nature lovers and those who simply want to sit and reflect on nature's changing seasons. There are stables and riding schools right across the county with some offering accommodation for horse and rider. Anglers will find a wide range of opportunities for coarse and game fishing available in Gloucestershire's many rivers and lakes. Those inclined to take to the air can hire a light aircraft, go gliding or float across the patchwork of the countryside in a hot air balloon.
Gloucestershire’s arts & crafts movement derives from generations of traditional working combined with inspirations from the turn of the twentieth century. The county has benefitted from craftsmen such as Gimson and Barnsley at Sapperton, William Morris at nearby Kelmscott and the Guild of Handicrafts in Chipping Campden.
Harts are the last operating remnant of the Guild and visitors are welcome to watch craftsmen who specialise in the best traditions of hand-made silver. Likewise a number of potteries encourage visitors, including Winchcombe Pottery where hand-made pots are fired in a wood-burning kiln. Harts Barn at Longhope and the Brewery Arts Centre in Cirencester both display a wide range of arts and crafts, many items being made in the on-site workshops. At Twigworth just north of Gloucester, Nature in Art is the world's first museum of wildlife art covering all periods, media and countries with regularly changing exhibits.
Gloucestershire is blessed with some of England's most beautiful countryside but it needs help to stay that way. Gloucestershire has such glorious countryside that over half of the county's area is designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), with a major part of the Cotswolds AONB and small parts of the Wye Valley AONB and the Malvern Hills AONB. This national level of protection ensures that the natural beauty is conserved and enhanced.
Much of the Cotswolds AONB is also designated as an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) in which management agreements can be made with landowners to ensure the continuance of sympathetic traditional farming methods that respect historic, landscape and natural features. Day-by-day countryside management is carried out by the thousands of landowners and farmers who live on the land and care for it. They can seek advice on farming and conservation from the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG). In 1979 Gloucestershire became the first English county to appoint a full time FWAG adviser and since that time some 1600 farms have been visited. In 1938 the Forest of Dean was made into a Forest Park (the first to be created in England) and today Forest Enterprise care for some 27,500 acres, balancing the needs of conservation and recreational use with commercial timber production.
There are over 120 Countryside Stewardship Schemes in operation throughout Gloucestershire by which the Ministry of Agriculture makes incentives available to landowners and managers to enhance and restore valued English landscapes and habitats. Much valuable work in caring for the Cotswold countryside is done by the Cotswolds AONB Partnership who co-ordinate a team of volunteers to carry out work on environmental work projects and public rights of way, as well as leading guided walks and patrolling sites.
The National Trust owns and cares for some 7000 acres of Gloucestershire countryside as well as historic buildings and gardens. Local people are enabled to work together on countryside issues by Vision 21, Gloucestershire's response to Local Agenda 21, which aims to promote sustainable lifestyles and develop projects that foster sustainable development. Consumption of locally produced food, sustainable methods of woodland management and the promotion of renewable resources for energy and construction are among the many concerns of Vision 21.
Gloucestershire has a wide range of museums that will help you catch a flavour of the county's rich heritage. Most of the larger centres in Gloucestershire have a museum displaying artefacts outlining the history of their district.
The Gloucester Folk Museum is housed in timber-framed buildings and explains local crafts and folklore while Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum has a renowned local arts and crafts movement collection. There are also some more specialist museums such as the National Waterways Museum in Gloucester Docks explaining the history and operation of inland waterways. The Dean Heritage Centre is a museum of forest life set by a mill pond in a wooded valley at Soudley while the Cotswold Heritage Centre has a collection of old farm wagons housed in an old prison at Northleach. This Cotswold town is also home to Keith Hardings World of Mechanical Music, a living museum of self-playing instruments.
At Newent the Shambles Museum is set out as a complete set of Victorian shops, cobbled streets, gas lamps and alleyways. The John Moore Museum at Tewkesbury is devoted to nature conservation and at Berkeley the Jenner Museum is dedicated to the memory of Edward Jenner, the discoverer of a vaccination against smallpox.
The county has much to offer the railway enthusiast. The Forest of Dean was once criss-crossed with miles of small mineral railways to transport coal, and you can explore many of these routes today, on foot or by bike. The Dean Forest Railway near Lydney has a museum of related information and offers regular steam and diesel trips over 2 miles of track. On the Cotswolds the Gloucestershire/Warwickshire Railway at Toddington has a restored station, signal box and goods shed and offers a 10-mile round trip on regular steam days. The nearby Winchcombe Railway Museum has a fascinating collection of railway memorabilia in a half-acre Cotswold garden.