6. Laurie Lee, "Cider with Rosie" and the Laurie Lee Wood

Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie brought his beloved Slad Valley to the public's attention.Cider with Rosie is Laurie Lee's best-known work. Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee's 1959 autobiographical novel which describes his childhood in the village of Slad, near Stroud, has brought the Cotswolds to the attention of a global audience.

The novel wonderfully chronicles life in a traditional Gloucestershire village in the period soon after the First World War, which disappeared with the advent of new developments, such as the coming of the motor car.

Laurie Lee's book, which as sold over six million copies worldwide, relates the experiences of his childhood seen from many years later and the identity of Rosie was revealed years later to be his distant cousin Rosalind Buckland.

It is acknowledged as a seminal piece of English literature that captures the spirit of a childhood,Laurie Lee is buried in the churchyard of his home village of Slad, near Stroud. family, community and rural life at a moment of great change.

Cider with Rosie was the first of Laurie Lee's autobiographical trilogy, which also includes As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning and A Moment of War.

Lee left home at the age of 19 and ended up in Spain, where volunteered during the Spanish Civil War against Franco’s fascists and ended up being captured and repatriated to England. On his return to England he began to train and develop as an artist and a writer.

Laurie Lee died in 1997, aged 82, at home in his beloved Slad and he is buried in the local churchyard. He is survived by his wife Kathy and daughter Jessy.

To celebrate this centenary of the author's birth in 2014, the new Laurie Lee Wood has been created in the Slad Valley by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust which bought the three-hectare woodland from the author's family.Laurie Lee's daughter Jessy Lee and Cerys Matthews unveiling the poetry trail as part of the new Laurie Lee Wildlife Way in June 2014. Picture by Nick Turner.

Located in Knapp Lane, Elcombe, the wood was officially opened by Laurie Lee's widow Kathy and his daughter Jessy.

It is a beautiful ancient woodland of more than three hectares bursting with an abundance of native flora and fauna. It is next door to the wildlife trust's Swift’s Hill Nature Reserve.

The Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust has four nature reserves in the Slad Valley - Frith Wood, Snows Farm, Laurie Lee Wood and Swift's Hill.

The celebrate the centenary of Laurie Lee's birth, the trust is installing 11 'poetry posts' throughout the Slad Valley inscribed with his poetry as part of the new Laurie Lee Wildlife Way.

More information

For more information on Laurie Lee and his work, visit www.laurielee.org
For more information on the Laurie Lee Wood, visit www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/reserves/Laurie-Lee-Wood

© Loving The Cotswolds. 2019.