Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean








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The footpath was cleared right back to the wall below Lancaut Church which is, in fact, St. James Church..

St James Church has been a ruin without a roof since 1865. For centuries the building was the focal point of a small community on the Lancaut peninsular, which is nearly encircled by the River Wye. Earthworks to the east and west of the church indicate an abandoned medieval settlement.

The church once contained a lead font made between 1120 and 1140; it is now displayed in the Lady Chapel at Gloucester Cathedral. The date on the font suggests that the church existed by the first half of the 12th century, however none of the surviving structure can be dated to this period. It may have been substantially altered during the 12th or early 13th centuries.


6 September 2011

This shows the overgrown footpath obscuring the view of the salt marsh and the river which we were about to clear.



Grid Ref ST539966

The Dean Green Team went to Lancaut SSSI Nature Reserve to clear the bank by the river and expose a previously unseen old stone wall below the Lancaut Church. This area is a rare example of saltmarsh supporting specific salt-tolerating plants such as sea aster, English scurvygrass, sea milkwort and buck’s-horn plantain. The name 'Lancaut' is derived from the Welsh Llan (meaning church) and Cewydd, the name of an obsure Welsh saint who lived in the 6th century AD. 12th century ecclesiastical charters mention a religious establishment (called lann ceuid) which may have been in existence on the Lancaut peninsula during the 7th and 8th centuries.

The tide on the River Wye which stretches far upstream was low as we started work and gradually came in to rise.

Overgrown footpath


Halfway through clearing

Halfway through the day we had cleared the river side of the footpath and could now see Wintours Leap in the distance.


Lancaut Church







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