Places to see birds

Brierley, Forest of Dean

Brierley, Forest of Dean
Gavin Black

Brierley is best known for Hawfinches, small numbers of which are attracted to the Hornbeams growing there, particularly in winter.
The village of Brierley is situated on the A4136 Huntley to Monmouth road between Steam Mills Cinderford and Lydbrook. Turn off the road onto the Forestry Commission access road at SO622151, opposite the petrol station in the village. Park by the junction of forest tracks at SO623148, taking care not to obstruct the barrier.
Hawfinches are often found in the Hornbeams next to the junction where up to a dozen may occur. Follow the track south-east (heading away from the road) for a chance of finding Willow Tit. Given the right conditions and time of year you may find Wood White, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Grizzled Skipper, Ringlet and Speckled Wood Butterflies.

Park off the other side of the road a little further west at SO619149 by the gate, signposted Great Berry Quarry, and walk downhill bearing slightly left just below the parking place. Various Warblers occur on this route including an occasional Wood Warbler and Tits including a possible Willow Tit down in the valley bottom, if you missed them on the south side of the road.
Follow the route down to and along the Greathough (pron. "Great Huff") Brook and keep watching and listening for Dippers in the brook. Goldcrests are quite numerous along the route but are more usually heard than seen.
Where the track reaches the Ruardean Woodside road, turn right and return on the other side of the brook on the path that runs gently uphill for a circular walk.