'Live arrows' fired as Channel 4 shoots 17th Century drama in Forest
TALES of a 17th Century transatlantic world of battles in love and war are being played out in the Forest of Dean, before hitting the small screen.
A film set at the Beechenhurst picnic site has been the subject of much rumour since it shot up in the past few days.
Behind an imposing wooden fence housing log cabins and a mini village, actors are shooting new Channel 4 drama New Worlds.
Publicity for the four-part series, set to air next year, calls it a "compelling" political struggle.
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A spokesman said "Set in the turbulent 1680s, the drama takes place on both sides of the Atlantic, as two young men and two young women commit their lives to a fairer future with blood, passion and urgency.
"New Worlds is a gripping story of love and loss and the human price paid for the freedoms we enjoy today."
Workers around the Beechenhurst site have been sworn to secrecy over what's going on, but the cat's been let out of the bag.
However, anyone fancying a sneek peak should be warned to keep their distance.
One curious observer said he was told in no uncertain terms what might happen if he got a little too close.
The Cinderford resident, who asked not to be named, said: "One man there said he was an armourer and they were firing live arrows and he was concerned for my safety.
"We had a few words, I told him to call the police and not to tell me where to walk in the Forest when a producer came over and smoothed it over.
"We had a chat and he said the guy isn't a people person!"
He added: "The producer told me they used the Forest because what they are filming is set in New Orleans and the Forest trees are the same as there."
Derek Yemm, manager at the Forest Connections shop at Beechenhurst, said: "I don't know much, but what I do know is very exciting.
"On a scale of one to 10 of excitement, it is a 10 for me. I am sworn to secrecy over it."
The four episodes will each be one hour long and it stars Jamie Dornan from The Fall, Freya Mavor, who has starred in Skins and The White Queen, Alice Englert from Beautiful Creatures, and Joe Dempsie, whose previous credits include Southcliffe and Game of Thrones.