The Solitary Rambler

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Filmed 15th July 2018
Post-production completed 22nd September 2018

Running time 18 minutes

I return to Cannop Ponds , a popular beauty spot in the Forest of Dean I often visited as a child with family for days out and picnics. The walk I go on in this area is classic woodland walking country rich in industrial history, including mines, quarries and the superbly preserved remains of early tramroads …..

Filmed in the Forest of Dean in the county of Gloucestershire . Locations include Cannop Ponds , Bixslade , Lodge Inclosure, Wimberry Slade, Cannop Cycle Centre and Beechenhurst. This is part of the series of films in 2018 celebrating 25 years of “The Solitary Rambler”.
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Background and production details

Back in 1996, “ Confrontations in Cannop ” was one of my most popular early films, both with people who watched it and especially those involved in its making. Therefore, in 2018 as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations, it was another essential location I wanted to revisit to make a new 20-minute film in my current style of filmmaking. In one of my walking guidebooks there was a 5-mile walk from Cannop Ponds to Bixslade , Wimberry Slade and Beechenhurst, so I decided to make that as part of my new film. This would feature a mix of old and new locations, the new ones being Bixslade and Wimberry Slade.
On Sunday 15th July 2018 I drove to Cannop Ponds, parking in the main parking area between the two ponds. I took my first shots around the upper pond and Cannop Bridge Marsh then along the east side of the lower pond. The walk took me along the valley of Bixslade, which was very overgrown. I was trying to follow the route of a walk in a guidebook, but I went slightly wrong a few times as I didn’t find the directions in the book too clear. Eventually I found myself crossing the B4226 to Worcester Lodge, following yellow waymarks, but again I went a little off my route due to misreading the guidebook directions. I finally got back on the correct route as I walked down into Wimberry Slade, soon reaching Cannop Cycle Centre . Crossing the B4234 I walked up to Beechenhurst to take a few shots of the visitor centre before following the track through Fox Berrys wood back to Cannop Ponds. 

A huge part of what I felt made “Confrontations in Cannop” so successful at the time was its musical score. I had used my “Melody of the Forest of Dean” as its main soundtrack, which became one of my best known and most popular pieces of music in a Solitary Rambler film. With that in mind I knew I would be re-recording that same theme during editing of my new film “Cannop Ponds, Bixslade and Wimberry Slade”. I created similar, although not quite the same versions of “Melody of the Forest of Dean”, in order that I wasn’t copying the original music, but would at least be paying homage to it.

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