DEAN GREEN TEAM

Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean

Gloucestershire

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3 August 2021

Old Tramway, Bixslade

 

A lovely day to go up the Old Tramway track at Bixslade. Our job was to clear the stones and open up the low branches across the track We also did some litter picking and found an old car seat, discarded metal and many bottles - it is such a shame that there is always bad litter in the forest.

We heard a Goshawk calling at first and then we saw it soaring above us - that was a treat!

Update

We received this photo which was taken in 2003 showing a very well cleared tramway. It looks like we have more work to do!

Clearing the weeds and grass growing over the old stones.

The other half of the tramway is buried beneath the bracken and bushes on the left of the photo.

Cleared tramway stones.

 The original track consisted of L-section cast iron plates, 3 ft long and weighing 42 lbs, spiked to stone blocks (or setts) with single iron nails. Later track utilised longer plates, set on chairs which were attached to the blocks with two tapered bosses. Both types of block, which weighed at least 160 lbs and were at least 14 in. square by 7 in. thick, can be seen in Bixslade. 

The Bixslade Tramroad was a branch off the Severn and Wye Railway’s 3 ft 6 in. gauge tramroad from Lydney to Lydbrook, which opened in 1810. The 3/4-mile branch was built to serve collieries and stone quarries along Bixslade and had opened by June 1812. Traffic had ceased by November 1946.

However, a section of stone blocks in the lower part of Bixslade was renovated by Forest Enterprise in the 1990s.

Cutting away the over hanging branches.