The glorious Slad Valley in Gloucestershire, brought to life in Laurie Lee’s seminal novel Cider with Rosie, is the site of a new nature trail designed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the author’s birth on June 26. The six-mile circular route meanders through the picturesque countryside near Stroud, where Lee (1914-97) grew up, and is punctuated by larch posts featuring his verse.
It will be launched by musician and author Cerys Matthews, who wrote the foreword for the new edition of Cider with Rosie, and takes in four Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust nature reserves: Frith Wood, Snows Farm, Swift’s Hill and Laurie Lee Wood, which opened last year.
Unusually for a book written in 1959, much of the bucolic countryside that enriched Lee’s work remains intact, as does his childhood home, the church, school house and the Woolpack Inn in Slad. ‘Remarkably, the key elements of the landscape that inspired the book still survive and are as important as any characters,’ says the trust’s Roger Mortlock. The trust is also organising a centenary walk on June 8 (www.laurielee.org).
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