Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean








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13 October 2009

About lime kilns

The process is very simple. It consists in heating the stone in kilns constructed in the open air, in the vicinity of places providing the fuel and the raw limestone, for there is no point in transporting the untreated bulk material.

Quicklime served many purposes: for use on agricultural land to break up clay soil and 'sweeten' the grass; as a mortar in building; as a flux in iron and steel-making; for lime-washing house walls to make them waterproof; and a decoration to brighten and disinfect the interiors; or, found in heaps at field-gates. to prevent foot rot in livestock. It was also used as a medicine, as a bleach in paper-making, and for removing the hair from hides in leather-making. The effect of lime in contact with moisture also made it useful to sprinkle on cess pits - its caustic action killed off germs and helped decomposition.

Eventually, we cleared a large area and found the lime kiln underneath. We also covered the stumps in herbicide to prevent them from re-growing.


As you can see, the whole area was completely shrouded in small brush and bramble. The lime kiln is behind all this.


Hobbs Quarry, Longhope - GWT Reserve

Grid Ref SO695195

A relief to get back to decent weather for the day! It was quite hard to find Hobbs Quarry as we have never been there before and we, eventually, found it up a tiny lane which ended at field gates. The quarry is now a Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Reserve as it has geological features of rare complexities. There is the remains of a coral reef fossilised into the wall at the side of the quarry. The quarry was worked for the limestone it contained and, although there was a lime kiln shown on the map, no sight of it could be found. That was our task - find the lime kiln and expose it!

Brush covering


Lime Kiln


Lime Kiln


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