A sunny Boxing Day walk in the cemetery

We were delighted that the weather was fine this morning when we woke, as we'd hoped to go for a walk. So we actually got straight up and before breakfast or even coffee we walked out and up through the cemetery which is close to our house and headed up to the Chapel of Rest. From there there are wonderful views out across the Golden Valley as well as out to the Severn Vale in the west.

There is a new cemetery which is still being used for burials, and where a recent David Mitchell sitcom, 'Best', was filmed. but on the other side of the old road leading along the Horns valley there is the old cemetery. Here there are many fine headstones and graves set on the steep hillside below the Chapel. The whole cemetery is protected as a nature reserve and managed well to ensure its wildlife has habitats that allow their survival. Some areas are left uncut to ensure this and these rotate from year to year and season to season. Sometimes people who don't know about this think the cemetery is uncared for, which is actually the opposite of what is actually occurring.

We then left the cemetery by the top entrance and went to the local coal merchants where I wanted to deliver a cheque to cover the cost of the fuel they delivered last week. Their's is a family business which still uses the old limestone quarry site along the Horns valley where their forebears used to run a lime kiln. The owner explained many years ago that they own an adjacent wood on the same hillside which was used for fuel for the production of lime burnt in the kilns. Now their woodland isn't managed in the traditional way, although I think they still extract wood to sell for fuel, as well as buying in coal for their regular fuel business. In former years this was delivered to Stroud along the canal, but that ceased in the early 20th century and now lorries supply the coal. I don't know where their source is as there are very few mines left in Britain, although I think there are some small mining enterprises  being worked using traditional open cast extraction methods in the Forest of Dean, which is just across the Severn Vale, in the far distance of this picture.

We got home refreshed and pleased with the exercise and the fresh air. It wasn't long before the rain returned which is still falling into the evening.

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