WINTRY showers swept across the Forest and surrounding areas in the early hours of Sunday (December 11), causing some disruption out on the roads.

While the unexpected flurries left local towns, villages and woodlands looking beautifully festive, freezing temperatures on Sunday and Monday (December 12) meant a yellow Met Office warning of ice and fog remained in place at the start of the week.

And while no weather warnings have yet been issued for the area for the week ahead, temperatures are set to remain very low, with people being advised to take extra care when travelling and stay up to date with the latest forecast.

The scene above Clearwell on Sunday morning (December 11) (Tindle)

Many of the district's schools were closed on Monday (December 12) for safety reasons concerning snow and ice, including Dene Magna, Forest High, Heart of the Forest and Newent Community School, and primaries in Berry Hill, Clearwell, Huntley, Littledean, Mitcheldean, Pillowell, Redbrook, Ruardean, Soudley, Tibberton and Westbury.

Gloucestershire Highways’ gritters have been out over the weekend helping to keep most of the Forest’s main roads clear of snow and ice.

But some smaller roads may have retained remnants of snow which have since frozen over, and may pose a risk to motorists for a few days yet. 

Drivers are being urged to follow National Highways advice on how to stay safe on the road during the cold weather.

Essential advice for motorists includes:

* Stick to the main roads where you can and only travel if necessary.

* Slow down – it can take 10 times longer to stop in icy conditions.

* Use a high gear – this will help avoid wheel spin.

* Accelerate gently, using low revs. You may need to take off in second gear to avoid skidding.

* You may need up to 10 times the normal gap between your car and the car in front.

* Try not to brake suddenly – it may lock up your wheels and you could skid further.

* Be extra cautious at road junctions where road markings may not be visible.

* Look out for gritters spreading salt or using snow ploughs, and only overtake if it’s safe to do so.

People are also encouraged to stay up to date with the latest weather forecasts, as further severe weather warnings could be issued as we head through the week.

The latest forecasts and warnings can be found on the Met Office website,