Wye Valley Greenway

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- Binding Margin -Wye Valley GreenwayNational Diving & Activity CentreGreenways & Cycleroutes LtdJanuary 2019

W Y E V A L L E Y G R E E N W AY:D AY H O U S E Q U A R RY T O B L A C K M O R G A N ’ S W O O D J A N U A RY 2 0 1 9 PA G E 3Wye Valley Greenway: Dayhouse Quarry to Black Morgan’s Wood1The Wye Valley Greenway. 42The National Diving and Activity Centre (NDAC) . 53Detailed plans and proposals . 64Design and Access statement . 155Works at Tidenham Tunnel. 176Ecology (see Appendix 1) . 217Bats (see Appendix 2) . 218Transport Issues. 229Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment . 26- Binding Margin -10 Archaeological and Heritage Sites . 2711 Flood Risk Assessment . 27For information onlyATrack Removal . 28BBrief review of repairs to Forestry Commission section . 29CPrevious History of Project . 30DFuture plans to reach Chepstow. 30Appendix 1 - Wessex Ecological Consultancy – Ecological Assessment January 2019Appendix 2 - Clark Webb Ecology Limited with regard to batsNote to scales: this document has been prepared at A4 size for ease of printing. Pages are double sided.Maps 1 to 5 (pages 6 to 14) are scaled to be 1:2500 when printed at A3 (141%)

W Y E V A L L E Y G R E E N W AY:D AY H O U S E Q U A R RY T O B L A C K M O R G A N ’ S W O O D J A N U A RY 2 0 1 9 PA G E 41 The Wye Valley GreenwayThis application covers a 3.4km section of the former Wye ValleyGreenway. It connects the National Diving and Activity Centre (NDAC)through to the Forestry Commission tracks north of Tintern Quarry.The proposed path will create a significant extension to the visitorexperience based on NDAC and provide local resource for walking andcycling. The proposal marries with the Forest of Dean District Councilresolution AP29 adopted June 2018 to safeguard the railway route forrecreational use.1The works proposed will be low key in nature with a view to making astone dust path similar to the existing trails in the Forest of Dean.- Binding Margin -NDAC2Railway path near BeechenhurstThe works will be carefully carried out under the supervision of theproject’s ecologist and bat specialist so that the Wye Valley Greenwaycan become a valued component of the outstanding landscape andwoodlands in this area.Once completed NDAC will manage and maintain the works, includingthe section through the long Tidenham Tunnel, and will look to aneventual 2nd stage through to Sedbury and the centre of Chepstow.Location Plan1The Greenway joins existing Forestry Track onForestry Commission land at this point2The Greenway starts from the NDAC car parksite and will be a considerable addition to theactivities of the NDAC8A4

W Y E V A L L E Y G R E E N W AY:D AY H O U S E Q U A R RY T O B L A C K M O R G A N ’ S W O O D J A N U A RY 2 0 1 9 PA G E 52 The National Diving and Activity Centre (NDAC)As well as providing some of the best inland scuba diving conditions in Europe,NDAC offer a range of outdoor activities including abseiling, the Wire Zip Slide, aGiant 3G Swing and drive in cinemas. NDAC is seeking to expand its provision offit and active recreation by developing walking and cycling activities based uponthe disused railway which runs past its Dayhouse Quarry Site. NDAC is the naturalcustodian of the old railway both on account of its proximity and of its experiencein managing major works in the shape of the quarry, its rock faces and its water.NDAC is in the process of taking over all the section of railway route owned andleased by Railway Paths Limited in order to have a single consolidated projectunder its direction and management.- Binding Margin -Greenways and Cycleroutes LimitedGreenways & Cycleroutes LtdNDAC is working with the support and technical adviceof a local charity, Greenways and Cycleroutes Limited. Their team hasconsiderable experience of constructing paths of this type, includingmost recently the Waddesdon Greenway from Aylesbury ValeParkway Station and the Brean Down Way from Weston-super-Mare.Waddesdon Greenway: constructed by Greenways, [email protected] and Cycleroutes Limited is a Community Benefit SocietyRegistered with the Financial Conduct Authority Mutuals Public Register CB7273Registered with HMRC as charitable EW51258 VAT: 276 4831 72Registered Office: The Wool Hall, 12 St Thomas Street, Bristol BS1 [email protected] https://greenwaysandcycleroutes.orgBrean Down Way: constructed by Greenways, 2017

W Y E V A L L E Y G R E E N W AY:Wye Valley Greenway: Map 13 Detailed plans andproposalsThe following pages set outthe arrangements and detailsof the proposed greenway witha series of maps, descriptivenotes and sketches starting inthe north and ending at NDACExisting pathD AY H O U S E Q U A R RY T O B L A C K M O R G A N ’ S W O O D J A N U A RY 2 0 1 9 PA G E 61The existing well defined path along the trackbedcomes to an end at this forest road crossing. Thenext 120 metres are designated a public footpathbut has been all but abandoned as the public walkup the forest road. So this first section as far as theForestry Commission boundary will now requireclearance and a careful reconstruction.3This is a delightful section with the railway runningon a low embankment through open woodlands.4Allow for one seat on this stretch. This couldusefully be located at the end of the Tintern Quarrysiding and used to mark this phase of the railway’soperations.5This high embankment affords good views out overthe Wye. Maintain the trees along the embankmentedge to provide a degree of security and run thepath centrally along the crest of the embankment.Pub22550756This 60 metre long subway carriesboth the public footpath andstorm-water which runs over thecoursed masonry invert. Smallareas of the sidewalls needrepairing at either portal (less than1 sq. metre) and it would be usefulto stone pitch the apron areas toprevent erosion.7This last 80m of footpath is abit rough and could usefully berepaired up to the standard higherup the valley.8From here to the National Divingand Activity Centre the rail tracksremain. These will be removed,along with their sleepers prior tothe path creation works starting.9Works access to Tintern Quarrycould be used for the constructionof this northern section of the path.100lic f1:2500 at A3ootpath37485963: Embankment section- Binding Margin -0mStart ofnew pathThis accommodation bridge is now demolished.The public footpath leaves the railway formationhere and climbs up the hillside. We will grade outthe slopes and install a 600mm culvert here so asto make the route suitable for disabled access.This covers the open woodland section from theend of the existing path on Forestry CommissionLand to the Quarry Road.The construction of a path along this shortsection will be grouped together with other minorrepairs and culvert installation along the ForestryCommission section, all carried out under theirdirections.12

W Y E V A L L E Y G R E E N W AY:D AY H O U S E Q U A R RY T O B L A C K M O R G A N ’ S W O O D J A N U A RY 2 0 1 9 PA G E 75: Cross section throughhigh embankment2:1Missing Bridge34522.5m260m- Binding Margin -112345As well as carrying storm water this bridge probably gaveaccess to Wall Weir below. The bridge was demolishedsome time after the railway closure and is now just a steepdown and up. These slopes need to be eased to allow forwider use.Approximate profile of original bridge.Current steep ramps coming back to formation level.600mm diameter culvert 6 metres long, finished withmasonry headwalls.New profile set to a 1:20 gradient, using material gradeddown from the railway embankment either side.The finished path will be approximately 0.75 metre below theoverall railway formation level.12Clear all trees along line of routeand remove rail track and thenposition path centrally acrossembankment.Maintain trees on the sides of theembankment and if necessary, orwhere there are inadequate trees,install fences.Above: Thumbnail sketchshowing the relationshipbetween the path and thesubway where the publicfootpath passes some 15mbelow the railway formationView looking through 60m subway

W Y E V A L L E Y G R E E N W AY:D AY H O U S E Q U A R RY T O B L A C K M O R G A N ’ S W O O D J A N U A RY 2 0 1 9 PA G E 8Wye Valley Greenway: Map 21This section runs past the former TinternQuarry through to the Tunnel Portal.20m255075Works access point from Tintern Quarry.2This section is wholly overgrown with saplings and should be clearedfull width to show the extent of the railway sidings.3Location of ramp up to quarry and start of area where the Quarryloaded into wagons. The path should be set well to the riverside hereand an interpretation panel showing historical photographs would beuseful.4Select area for seat and information panel. Depending on the plans forthe quarry area this would be a useful information point.5The construction of this rough access road has displaced a numberof rocks which tumbled down the steep hillside to land on the railwaytrack below. The area between the rough track and the top of therailway cutting will need to be carefully checked and any unstable rocksstill lying on the slope dislodged or secured. The inspection will need tocover all the area hatched in green.6The railway now enters a 200m long ledge hewn out of the limestonecliffs. This very attractive section is part of the Lower Wye Gorge SSSI.The loose rocks lying on the floor of the formation will be cleared awayand used to build up a replacement retaining wall across the landsliparea. Suitable shaped ones will be retained as seats or sculpture. Thepath will be set on a line somewhat away from the cliff face providedthere is an easy slope to the side of the formation.1001:2500 at A33456Where there is a small retaining wall then the path will veer inwards.77: Existing retaining walls7The landslip area – 20m long. A narrow band of boulder clay breaksthe cliff face here and the construction of the rough track higher up thehillside disturbed the drainage and caused a slip of surface materialwhich has ended up as a pile of dead trees and soil on the railwaytrack below. These will be carefully removed and a solid retaining wallconstructed from the large blocks of stone available on site.The original retaining wall here was probably similar to the walls foundalong the railway further to the north.893: Quarry loading gantry next to railway108The path now picks up the second of the limestone rock terraces whichruns all the way to Tidenham Tunnel, a distance of 160m. Here there aremore rocks spilled from above and these will again be used to make theretaining structure at the slip area, and will be arranged as seats alongthe back of the path where they can also arrest any future debris.This section also has two substantial retaining walls each constructed- Binding Margin -1

W Y E V A L L E Y G R E E N W AY:D AY H O U S E Q U A R RY T O B L A C K M O R G A N ’ S W O O D J A N U A RY 2 0 1 9 PA G E 9of masonry 2.5m thick. The fences along the top of these walls are inpoor condition and need to be replaced with heavy duty sheep netting,2 lines of heavy smooth fence wire all on new steel posts.9Just to the north of the tunnel portal one gets the first view of the RiverWye (after coming through the tunnel). This would be an excellentlocation for a seat.10 The Tunnel Portal is in a generally good condition. The existing gateswill be removed and replaced with works gates which can be lockedat night. The details of these gates and other works to the tunnel aredescribed in the section on Tidenham Tunnel. This runs for a distanceof 1080m and emerges just to the north of Netherhope Lane Bridge.Wye Valley Greenway: details on Map 2521431213- Binding Margin -2.5m4152433: Cross section oppositeTintern Quarry Loading area– looking southPosition of loading siding andthrough line now removed.Remaining concrete retainingwall.Locate path 4-5 metres awayfrom retaining wall.Leave 2.5m width of saplingsand scrub to mask the quarryremains.Commission sculpture orquarry piece to call to mindthe loading gantries in thearea.52.5m123456: Cross section along the rock ledge sections looking southwardsCheck the hillside above the rock face for any loose rocks and make safe.Generally, clear the whole width of the ledge but keep some specimen treesprovided that this does not obstruct the view of an open space with aninteresting rock wall to one side.Clear fallen rocks away or use them to make seats and features.Make up path 2.5m wide generally on the line of the railway where this isconvenient.Maintain all trees on this side towards the river for stability, and to provide adegree of security to the edge of the embankment.123457: View through landslip arealooking south32Mass of fallen trees, soil and small1rock blocking path for 15-20m.Excavate the fallen material in stagesand support hillside with retaining45wall of large rocks built up fromthose on site. Back these rocks with2.5mfree draining material to enhance thestability of the slope behind.Trim up the slope and plant withalder and other well rooted trees.Make 2.5m path, generally running on line of the railway.Retain all trees on the verge and the downhill slope so as to enhance stabilityand provide security for path users.3123458: View at retaining wall looking5south4Masonry retaining walls up to 10mhigh and 2.5m thick at base.22.5mClear away any rocks on the ledge oruse as seats or sculpture.1Retain specimen trees provided thatthe trees do not obstruct a clearview along the rock ledge to thetunnel beyond.Erect new boundary fence set 1m infrom face of wall. Fence to be steel posts 1.4m high strung with heavy dutysheep mesh and two lines of smooth wire with screwed tensioners.Leave trees on edge unless they are precarious or likely to do damage to theretaining wall, in which case fell and poison stumps

W Y E V A L L E Y G R E E N W AY:D AY H O U S E Q U A R RY T O B L A C K M O R G A N ’ S W O O D J A N U A RY 2 0 1 9 PA G E 1 0Wye Valley Greenway: Map 3 - Tidenham Tunnel 1080 metres longSouth portalTidenham Tunnel is the centrepiece of the Wye Valley Greenway. It provides for a direct, almostlevel and traffic free route in an otherwise very hilly and daunting area.The tunnel was last used by trains in 1981. Since then it has remained in generally a verygood condition. It is lined for the majority of its distance through hard limestone rocks.The rails and sleepers will be lifted in June/July 2019, and the track levelled androlled, all at a time determined by bats’ requirements. Some 10 of the sidealcoves will be bricked up to near the top to make protected habitats forbats. Hydrock Consultants Limited have carried out a geophysical andengineering assessment of the whole tunnel. A summary of theworks the project will carry out to repair and make the tunnelsafe for public use is set out in section 5.Air shaft0m50100View of lined section of tunnel with thetrack still in placeConsiderations of the tunnel habitat for bats are set out in Appendix 2 andthe project will adopt the recommendations in this Appendix.Minor repairs will be carried out to the tunnel in September 2019 andat that time the first of regular annual inspection will be carried out byspecialist engineers.The tunnel will be gated with full works access gates set 15 metres infrom each portal, and it is intended that these gates will be locked at duskand reopened at dawn each day, with the exception of peak summerweekends. This will ensure that the tunnel is properly managed and itsusage controlled.Lighting will be white LED lights at 10 metre centres fixed to brackets1.0m high down the east side of the tunnel. Power will be provided fromthe adjacent property at the south end, or in the longer run by solar panelsabove the air shaft. The lighting will be switched off from dusk to dawn.The only other significant feature of the tunnel is the air shaft. This 2.5msquare shaft hewn through solid rock is finished off with a 3m high masonrytower. The grid on the top of this will be renewed in galvanised palisadetype unit to support a fine mesh screen designed to stop stones and sticksbeing thrown down the shaft.Management of the TunnelThe tunnel will be inspected on a regular basis by the gatekeeper who willlock and unlock the gates each day. Any fragment of rock found on the pathor floor of the tunnel will immediately be reported to the NDAC managerwho will inspect the location and authorise the tunnel to be used by thepublic, or otherwise. If necessary NDAC will call upon Hydrock engineers tocome over to check the tunnel out and if necessary make it safe.In addition, all users, whether pedestrians or cyclists will be encouraged tocarry torches, and to report back any concerns they may find.- Binding Margin -North portal

W Y E V A L L E Y G R E E N W AY:D AY H O U S E Q U A R RY T O B L A C K M O R G A N ’ S W O O D J A N U A RY 2 0 1 9 PA G E 1 1Summary of works required to Tidenham Tunnel for its safe use by the general public0 metres100 metres300 metresAlcoves. 10 of the 100alcoves to be closed upto contain rock fall andprovide enhanced bathabitats400 metresProvide cleardistancesigns atregularintervals500 metres600 metresAirshaft. Install new finemesh screen over top ofshaft and clear back oldmesh at bottom of shaft700 metres800 metresOn unlined sectionsinspect annually for looserock, and check floor oftunnel for any debris on adaily basis900 metres0100m1000 metresOn lined sectionsrepair small sectionsof brickwork(3 sq.metre)Northern portal of TunnelView of unlined section of tunnelView of lined section of tunnel1088 metresNorth portal, clean backrock faces to inspect, pinany potential loose rocks,and fence the immediatevicinity- Binding Margin -At the south portal, clean offrock faces, pin back exposedrock, erect steel mesh fenceson the immediate approachand install works access gates15m into the tunnel200 metresScale 1:5000 at A4Alcove in tunnel wall

D AY H O U S E Q U A R RY T O B L A C K M O R G A N ’ S W O O D J A N U A RY 2 0 1 9 PA G E 1 2W Y E V A L L E Y G R E E N W AY:Wye ValleyGreenway:Map 41230m2550753: Netherhope Lane Bridge1001:2500 at A3124364511876Sketch of access plan to BishtonLane (below)Bishton LaneExisting field gate already set backfrom the road.1.6m wide entry gap to start of linkpath. This width to be fixed by secureposts to prevent vehicular access.Limestone dust finished path to therailway route 2m wide.Area of tarmac to lead to the roadsurface. Do not tarmac whole farmgate entrance as this may encouragecar parking.New fencing.1The south portal will be gated as

resolution AP29 adopted June 2018 to safeguard the railway route for recreational use. The works proposed will be low key in nature with a view to making a stone dust path similar to the existing trails in the Forest of Dean. Railway path near Beechenhurst The works will be carefully carried out under the supervision of the