A story from the Forest of Dean
One autumn day, a labourer, employed by the Lydney Park Estate, was was working alone on a remote part of it’s extensive grounds.
He was a builder busy repairing an old boundary wall close to the ancient hilltop fort where the Romano-British temple is situated.
It is a quiet part of the estate, well away from the house, and all the other buildings. A place rarely visited at any time of the year, and it was autumn, the estate was closed to the public, only being open for a few days in the spring.
As he worked he happened to glance down into the valley below where he noticed someone walking along the track that ran it’s length.
He could see the figure quite clearly, a man, hatless, and dressed in a long dark coat of centuries old design.
It was no one he recognised, and certainly not an estate worker. He wondered who the man could be and what he was doing there.
As he was about to call out, the figure raised his arms into the air. They took the form of wings, and bringing them down again the figure left the ground.
With slow powerful beets he flew along in the form of an enormous black raven or crow, and continued, several feet above the track, until he passed out of sight behind a group of trees.
I have heard no other accounts of this creature. There are local reports of another bird-man. Someone who dresses completely in brown, and who, whenever he is seen, is always accompanied by a flock of noisy sparrows. Witnesses, quite independently of each other, refer to him as the “Sparrow-Man”.