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NEWS RELEASE No: 1666421 APRIL 2017

2.5m National Lottery bid secured for the Forest of Dean

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The unique and exciting history of the Forest of Dean is to be explored and celebrated thanks to £2.5m National Lottery funding.

The Foresters’ Forest is the landscape partnership programme for the Forest of Dean that brings together 32 separate partners in delivering a major programme to invest in and secure our natural, built and cultural heritage over the next 5 years.

Sue Middleton, Programme Manager, commented:

“This is a fantastic endorsement of the hard work our community based partnership has put in over the last 2 years developing our heritage projects into an integrated programme. It’s thanks to the efforts of our enthusiastic project leaders and hundreds of volunteers that this Heritage Lottery Fund funding will enable us to explore our history whilst protecting and celebrating what is special about the forest.  I am looking forward to working with our dedicated partners and an ever increasing band of volunteers over the next 5 years.”

Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “From bats and buildings to voices from the forest and equipping a new generation with traditional heritage skills, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we’re delighted to support the revival of the Forest of Dean’s diverse heritage and this crucial step towards securing a bright future. We look forward to the continued success of this partnership which will provide some much-needed opportunities for communities, particularly young people, to reconnect with this incredible landscape.”

Come and find out more about the Foresters’ Forest projects and how you can get involved on Sun 23rd April at the Activities Festival on Speech House field, or look at the website, Facebook or Twitter.


Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission England, as the lead partner for Foresters’ Forest, 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. Further information can be found at
  2. About the Heritage Lottery Fund – Thanks to the National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.
  3. Formed from and rooted in its Geology, the Forest is a cradle of industry entwined with a stronghold for nature, with local people at the heart of our community. This £2.5m funding from the HLF will give us the opportunity to take time to refocus on what makes our Forest, our Community, our Story special.  To take time to inspire our youngsters and capture the knowledge and memories of our older generation before we lose that special link with our past.   

The 38 Projects will be split into the following themes:

Our Stronghold for Nature is a programme of ecological surveys, habitat and species management work to safeguard our natural world and give room for nature to evolve with our changing climate. 

Exploring our Forest are projects aimed at helping local people, as well as visitors, explore our heritage physically and virtually. 

Revealing our Past is a series of projects that will unearth and rediscover aspects of our landscape heritage that may be hidden, forgotten or buried.

Celebrating our Forest – Telling our Story are projects that embrace our creativity and our rich cultural heritage of literature, art and music to tell the story of our Forest.

Securing our Future, our legacy, are projects that build capacity in our community, build enthusiasm and equip people with the skills and knowledge to do the right thing - inspiring youngsters so that our long-term vision can be delivered. 

For more information about volunteering opportunities please contact Deb Cook

For more information about the Foresters’ Forest programme, please look at the website  or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

The 38 projects are described on the attached project list with links to Youtube videos of the project leaders describing their plans over the next five years.

Media contact 0300 067 4789