Puzzlewood: scowles

Scowles are a Forest of Dean geological feature. They are the result of millennia of erosion of the limestone that underlies the forest, like a bowl, collecting water which then overflows where the limestone breaks the surface, eroding the limestone and forming scowles. Because of the ironstone strata under the forest, the water was iron-rich and the iron has been deposited over the millennia so the scowles are often also the remains of ancient iron mining, as in Puzzle Wood.

One of the best places to see scowles is in Puzzlewood (link is to their site). It's a commercial site about 11 miles from our holiday cottage. An ideal place to take the children and with lots of adult interest - for several films have been set here in the magical atmosphere of the old wooded scowles.

Unfortunately it's not pet-friendly. Dogs are not allowed. We visited 12th April 209 when the photos were taken.

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The entrance to Puzzle wood, replete witt ramsons (wild garlic)
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Scowles are damp so usually covered with ferns and mosses.
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Old trees are there aplenty
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Golden saxifrage forms pretty carpets in places
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Mosses anjd ferns in Puzzle Wood
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Fallen timber is carefully managed for safety
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The paths are carefully arranged so as not to spoil the wood
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Rock formations
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Plenty of photographic interest!
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Young fern fronds unfolding
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Toothwort, a uncommon parasitic plant
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A young maidenhair fern
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A doorway in the rocks
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Moss covered rocks
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Page first published: Saturday the 6th of February, 2010
Last modified: Mon, 08 Jul 2024 09:21:56 BST
Written by and © Richard John Torrens.