Leys Hill circular walk
Distance 2 miles / 3.2 km
- Stiles: 2
- Gates: 0
- Steps: 1 large flight between 1 and 2, and between 3 and 4 on the map
- Narrow bridges: 0
- Slopes: Many steep, 1 gentle between points 2 and 3 on the map
These features and the terrain are shown on the Leys Hill circular route map.
Parking is available at Kerne Bridge Picnic Site and Canoe Launch.
Refreshments are available from nearby Goodrich or the Castle View Hotel in Kerne Bridge. Please check opening times and booking requirements before setting out.
About Leys Hill
This area, together with the Forest of Dean has been at the heart of heavy industry in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire for over two millennia.
From the Iron Age the woodlands were carefully managed in order to produce huge quantities of coppiced timber to be rendered into charcoal to fuel pottery kilns and iron furnaces. Small-scale coal workings were worked in the medieval and post-medieval periods to supplement the charcoal industry.
Charcoal is made from carefully managed coppice woodlands and involves ‘burning’ wood under managed conditions using a minimal amount of oxygen. Charcoal making is once again becoming popular as neglected woodlands are returned to good management.
The intricate network of small lanes around Leys Hill attests to the intensive use of this landscape. Quarries and limekilns abound, the remains of the lime industry for both agricultural and building practices.
Lime is made by burning limestone or chalk (calcium carbonate) with local coal or wood in a kiln - this drives off the ‘carbonate’ as carbon dioxide to leave calcium oxide or ‘quick’ lime.
Strongly alkaline ‘Limewater’ was used to remove hair from animal skins to create hide and leather. White limewash was used to seal the wattle and daub panels of buildings leading to their description as ‘Black and Whites’. Pure lime subjected to an intensive flame burns to give a bright white light and was used in Georgian and Victorian theatres giving rise to the phrase “in the Lime light”.
This route is managed by Balfour Beatty Living Places on behalf of Herefordshire Council.