Spring is springing!!!

Hopefully the new Peregrine pair will breed this year and the Peregrine pair that have been spotted on Doward Hill less than a mile away will hopefully breed this year also.

Its a raptor enthusiasts paradise with regular sightings of the majestic Buzzards, Goshawks, Sparrow hawks, Kestrels and Red Kites soring above the rock. Not only is the rock a great vantage point for bird watching, there has been regular sightings of Fallow Deer on Coppett Hill and in the fields below the rock face. The view point on the rock is also bustling with wildlife; the Wood Mouse, a variety of small bird species and one of the UK’s smallest Vole, the Bank Vole which is also on the endangered species list.

So fingers crossed it will be a good year for all the wildlife that help make the Forest of Dean an area of outstanding natural beauty.


Goshawks are seen less often than might be expected for such a large raptor, but the New Fancy viewpoint in the Forest of Dean has become one of the prime sites in Britain for watching their spring display flights. Goshawks had ceased to breed in Britain by the mid-nineteenth century. The first definite modern Gloucestershire breeding record did not come until 1980 when a pair from Gwent arrived and nested in the county. Locations were kept a secret, and as a result the Goshawk spread rapidly. The present population is considered to consist entirely of lost or escaped captive  birds and their descendants. By 1984 there were five known pairs in the county. This increased to 21 by 1995, and in the Dean and Wye Valley in 2011, there were 62 known nesting sites, most likely saturation point for the forest. 

Photo: Ben Locke

Raptors on the rock

Peregrines have nested in the limestone cliffs of Coldwell Rocks in the Forest of Dean for the past 20 years. The crevices in the rock face are also ideal nesting sites for other birds such as ravens and jackdaws. From the viewing point on Symonds Yat Rock you can enjoy watching the Peregrine Falcons while they hunt and raise their young from April to August each year. Other birds of prey such as Goshawks and Buzzards can also be seen here. The RSPB are on hand and have been since 1983 to show people the birds and to protect the breeding peregrine falcoms.

Photo: Ben Locke