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Volunteers valuable work in Forest of Dean

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The latest project for the Dean Green Team, which carries out valuable wildlife conservation work in the Forest of Dean, is at Ridley Bottom, Tidenham.

Here they have been clearing encroaching scrub at the field margins of this Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Reserve – a wildlife rich meadow that is a stunning array of wildflowers in Midsummer.

The Dean Green Team’s volunteering is mostly on joint Forestry Commission and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust sites and reserves, with tasks led by staff from these two organisations.

They meet on Tuesdays from September through to April, undertaking a variety of chores from scrub clearance, pond maintenance and butterfly surveys to ancient woodland management tasks like coppicing and hedge-laying. All tools, training and guidance is provided by Forestry Commission and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust staff. 

At present about 12 of them attend weekly, and they include members from all walks of life, with different interests, abilities and skills. The next three months are packed with some very different tasks planned for the group, including scrub clearance at Ridley Bottom Nature Reserve, Tidenham, coppicing and braken control at Darkhill, and the preservation of local geology and butterfly and reptile habitat at Shakemantle Quarry.

Further information about this great group of conservation volunteers can be viewed at

1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. Further information can be found at

2. Gloucester Wildlife Trust is the county's leading conservation charity. We envisage a Gloucestershire richer in wildlife, from urban window boxes to rolling country estates; wildlife is everywhere and we want it to stay that way. More details from Kevin Caster, Forest of Dean Nature Reserves Manager, Gloucester Wildlife Trust on 07900 050115.

3. For information on tasks at Forestry Commission sites, call: Rebecca O’Dowd, Recreation Ranger, Forestry Commission on 01594 833057.

4. For information on Dean Green Team, visit

Heather Lilley, Public Affairs Manager, Forest of Dean District, Forestry Commission, tel 01594 833057.