The charm of the Forest of Dean District’s landscape and the settings of many of the buildings in it have been recognised for many years, and in their work these attributes have been commemorated on many occasions by writers, artists, and photographers.  That it is a national asset was first officially recognised in 1938 when part of the District was England’s first National Forest Park.  Similarly, when National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Beauty were first proposed after World War II to protect the best of the nation’s landscape and heritage, the Forest of Dean was identified as a key site that needed protection; but it was not made one.  Now, despite being on all candidate lists since then, over half a century later it still waits for that special status, a statutory means to protect its rich heritage and culture, its exceptional biodiversity, and its outstanding high quality landscapes, both natural and man made.

To prevent the Forest of Dean, as countless generations have known it, being lost forever to uncaring and unsustainable development and urbanisation, our aim as Friends of the Forest is to gain that statutory protection so that the Forest of Dean District’s “special status” as a national gem can be enjoyed for many years to come.  In achieving this aim we appreciate that ancient rights and privileges need to be protected, but also that persons living in the district, their children and those of future generations should be left with a living environment that is both forward looking and prosperous.  Following the enactment of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, we are of the view that these requirements can be fulfilled.

“What is important is not what we inherit from our ancestors,
it is what we leave for our descendants.”