Forest of Dean

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The view north towards Ross-on-Wye from Symonds Yat Rock, a popular tourist destination in the Forest Symonds Yat Rock View.JPG
The view north towards Ross-on-Wye from Symonds Yat Rock, a popular tourist destination in the Forest

The Forest of Dean is a geographical, historical and cultural region in the western part of the county of Gloucestershire, England. It forms a roughly triangular plateau bounded by the River Wye to the west and northwest, Herefordshire to the north, the River Severn to the south, and the City of Gloucester to the east.

Counties of England Englands administrative, geographical and political demarcation

The counties of England are areas used for different purposes, which include administrative, geographical, cultural and political demarcation. The term 'county' is not clearly defined and can apply to similar or the same areas used by each of these demarcation structures. These different types of county each have a more formal name but are commonly referred to just as 'counties'. The current arrangement is the result of incremental reform.

Gloucestershire County of England

Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean.

Triangle shape with three sides

A triangle is a polygon with three edges and three vertices. It is one of the basic shapes in geometry. A triangle with vertices A, B, and C is denoted .

Contents

The area is characterised by more than 110 square kilometres (42 sq mi) of mixed woodland, one of the surviving ancient woodlands in England. A large area was reserved for royal hunting before 1066, and remained as the second largest crown forest in England, the largest being New Forest. Although the name is used loosely to refer to the part of Gloucestershire between the Severn and Wye, the Forest of Dean proper has covered a much smaller area since the Middle Ages. In 1327 it was defined to cover only the royal demesne and parts of parishes within the hundred of St Briavels, [1] and after 1668 comprised the royal demesne only. The Forest proper is within the civil parishes of West Dean, Lydbrook, Cinderford, Ruspidge, and Drybrook, together with a strip of land in the parish of English Bicknor. [2]

Ancient woodland term used in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, an ancient woodland is a woodland that has existed continuously since 1600 or before in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Before those dates, planting of new woodland was uncommon, so a wood present in 1600 was likely to have developed naturally.

New Forest area of southern England

The New Forest is one of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in Southern England, covering southwest Hampshire and southeast Wiltshire.

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Traditionally the main sources of work have been forestry  – including charcoal production iron working and coal mining. Archaeological studies have dated the earliest use of coal to Roman times for domestic heating and industrial processes such as the preparation of iron ore. [3]

Forestry economic sector

Forestry is the science and craft of creating, managing, using, conserving, and repairing forests, woodlands, and associated resources for human and environmental benefits. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands. The science of forestry has elements that belong to the biological, physical, social, political and managerial sciences.

Charcoal Lightweight black residue, made of carbon and ashes, after pyrolysis of animal or vegetal substances

Charcoal is a lightweight black carbon residue produced by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and plant materials. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis — the heating of wood or other organic materials in the absence of oxygen. This process is called charcoal burning. The finished charcoal consists largely of carbon.

Iron Chemical element with atomic number 26

Iron is a chemical element with symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal, that belongs to the first transition series and group 8 of the periodic table. It is by mass the most common element on Earth, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust.

The area gives its name to the local government district, Forest of Dean, and a parliamentary constituency, both of which cover wider areas than the historic Forest. The administrative centre of the local authority is Coleford, one of the main towns in the historic Forest area, together with Cinderford and Lydney.

Districts of England Level of subnational division of England used for the purposes of local government

The districts of England are a level of subnational division of England used for the purposes of local government. As the structure of local government in England is not uniform, there are currently four principal types of district-level subdivision. There are a total of 317 districts made up of 36 metropolitan boroughs, 32 London boroughs, 192 non-metropolitan districts, and 55 unitary authorities, as well as the City of London and the Isles of Scilly which are also districts, but do not correspond to any of these categories. Some districts are styled as boroughs, cities, or royal boroughs; these are purely honorific titles, and do not alter the status of the district. All boroughs and cities, and a few districts, are led by a mayor who in most cases is a ceremonial figure elected by the district council, but—after local government reform—is occasionally a directly elected mayor who makes most of the policy decisions instead of the council.

Forest of Dean District Non-metropolitan district in England

Forest of Dean is a local government district in Gloucestershire, England, named after the Forest of Dean. Its council is based in Coleford. Other towns and villages in the district include Blakeney, Cinderford, Drybrook, English Bicknor, Huntley, Littledean, Longhope, Lea, Lydbrook, Lydney, Mitcheldean, Newnham and Newent

Forest of Dean (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

Forest of Dean is a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2005 by Mark Harper, a Conservative.

Geology

The Forest of Dean is formed of a raised basin of palaeozoic rocks folded in the Variscan Orogeny, similar to the South Wales coalfield to the west. Underlain by great thicknesses of the Old Red Sandstone, the basin is filled with Carboniferous limestones, sandstones and coal measures, all of which have contributed to the industrial history of the region. Its highest point is Ruardean Hill (290 m, 950 ft).

Old Red Sandstone assemblage of rocks in the North Atlantic region

The Old Red Sandstone is an assemblage of rocks in the North Atlantic region largely of Devonian age. It extends in the east across Great Britain, Ireland and Norway, and in the west along the northeastern seaboard of North America. It also extends northwards into Greenland and Svalbard. In Britain it is a lithostratigraphic unit to which stratigraphers accord supergroup status and which is of considerable importance to early paleontology. For convenience the short version of the term, ORS is often used in literature on the subject. The term was coined to distinguish the sequence from the younger New Red Sandstone which also occurs widely throughout Britain.

The Carboniferous is a geologic period and system that spans 60 million years from the end of the Devonian Period 358.9 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Permian Period, 298.9 Mya. The name Carboniferous means "coal-bearing" and derives from the Latin words carbō ("coal") and ferō, and was coined by geologists William Conybeare and William Phillips in 1822.

Limestone Sedimentary rocks made of calcium carbonate

Limestone is a carbonate sedimentary rock that is often composed of the skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, foraminifera, and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). A closely related rock is dolomite, which contains a high percentage of the mineral dolomite, CaMg(CO3)2. In fact, in old USGS publications, dolomite was referred to as magnesian limestone, a term now reserved for magnesium-deficient dolomites or magnesium-rich limestones.

Etymology

The origins of the name remains an area of debate. The prevalence of Welsh place names in the area, suggests a possible corruption of din (meaning "hillfort"). However, similar or identical elements from Old English exist throughout England. [4]

Welsh language Brythonic language spoken natively in Wales

Welsh ; [kʰəmˈraiɡ](listen)) or y Gymraeg is a Brittonic language of the Celtic and Indo-European language family. It is spoken natively in Wales, by some in England, and in Y Wladfa. Historically, it has also been known in English as "Cambrian", "Cambric" and "Cymric".

Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest historical form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages. It was brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers probably in the mid-5th century, and the first Old English literary works date from the mid-7th century. After the Norman conquest of 1066, English was replaced, for a time, as the language of the upper classes by Anglo-Norman, a relative of French. This is regarded as marking the end of the Old English era, as during this period the English language was heavily influenced by Anglo-Norman, developing into a phase known now as Middle English.

Gerald of Wales, writing in the 12th century, refers to the area as Danubia which may translate as "land of Danes" following the Viking settlements in that era. It is possible that an original name Dene developed from this. [5]

History

Prehistory

The area was inhabited in Mesolithic times, [6] and there are also remains of later megalithic monuments, including the Longstone [7] near Staunton and the Broadstone [8] at Wibdon, Stroat. Barrows have been identified at Tidenham and Blakeney. Bronze Age field systems have been identified at Welshbury Hill near Littledean, and there are Iron Age hill forts at Symonds Yat and Welshbury. There is archaeological evidence of early trading by sea, probably through Lydney. Before Roman times, the area may have been occupied by the British Dobunni tribe, although few of their coins have been found in the area and control may have been contested with the neighbouring Silures. [9]

The Romans

The area was occupied by the Romans in around AD 50. They were attracted by its natural resources which included iron ore, ochre and charcoal. The coal mining industry was probably established on a small scale in Roman times. [10] The area was governed from the Roman town of Ariconium at Weston under Penyard near Ross-on-Wye, and a road was built from there to a river crossing at Newnham on Severn and port at Lydney. The "Dean Road", still visible at Soudley, is believed to be a mediaeval rebuilding of the Roman road, and would have been an important route to transport iron ore and finished metal products. During Roman times there were Roman villas at Blakeney, Woolaston and elsewhere, and towards the end of the Roman period, around 370, a major Roman temple complex dedicated to the god Nodens was completed at Lydney. The central parts of the woodlands in the forest are believed to have been protected for hunting since Roman times. [11]

The medieval period

St Briavels Castle StBriavelscastle.jpg
St Briavels Castle

The area's history is obscure for several centuries after Roman period during the so-called Dark Ages, although at different times it may have been part of the Welsh kingdoms of Gwent and Ergyng, and the Beachley and Lancaut peninsulas east of the Lower Wye remained in Welsh control at least until the 8th century. [9] Around 790 the Saxon King Offa of Mercia built his dyke high above the Wye, to mark the boundary with the Welsh. The Forest of Dean then came under the control of the diocese of Hereford. Throughout the next few centuries Vikings conducted raids up the Severn, but by the 11th century the kingdom of Wessex had established civil government. [2] The core of the forest was used by the late Anglo Saxon kings, and after 1066 the Normans, as their personal hunting ground. The area was kept stocked with deer and wild boar and became important for timber, charcoal, iron ore and limestone.

The Hundred of St Briavels was established in the 12th century, at the same time as many Norman laws concerning the Forest of Dean were put in place. St Briavels Castle became the Forest's administrative and judicial centre. Verderers were appointed to act for the king and protect his royal rights, and local people were given some common rights. Flaxley Abbey was built and given rights and privileges. In 1296, miners from the Hundred of St Briavels supported King Edward I at the siege of Berwick-on-Tweed in the Scottish Wars of Independence by undermining the then Scottish town's defences in the first step of his campaign to seize Scotland from John Balliol. As a result, the king granted free mining rights within the forest to the miners and their descendants; the rights continue to the present day. Miners at that time were mainly involved in iron mining although the presence of coal was well known and limited amounts had been recovered in Roman times. Coal was not used for ironmaking with the methods of smelting then in use. Later the freeminer rights were used mainly for coal mining. [2] The activities of the miners were regulated by the Court of Mine Law. [10]

During the Tudor dynasty

Speech House SpeechHouse2008.jpg
Speech House

The forest was used exclusively as a royal hunting ground by the Tudor kings, and subsequently a source of food for the royal court. Its rich deposits of iron ore led to its becoming a major source of iron. Timber was particularly fine and was regarded as the best source for building ships.

Attempt at disafforestation and the Western Rising

As a result of King Charles I's decision to rule without Parliament, he sought to raise finances through grants of Royal forest lands. 3,000 acres (1,200 ha) of the Forest of Dean was disafforested in the 1620s, causing riots in 1631–32, part of enclosure riots across the South West commonly known as the Western Rising. In 1639, 22,000 acres (8,900 ha) were disafforested, with 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) going to manorial lords and freeholders in compensation. 18,000 acres (7,300 ha) were to go to the Crown, and be sold on to Sir John Winter. Riots ensued in 1641. [12] Winter's claim to the lands was voided by Parliament in March 1642, in part because he had failed to pay. His assets were sequestrated for supporting the Crown during the Civil War. The Protectorate tried to enclose a third of the forest in 1657, leaving two thirds to the Commoners. Although a relatively generous settlement, it caused resistance in April and May 1659, when fences of new enclosures were broken and cattle brought in to graze. Royalists including Edward Massey attempted to bring the discontented to the side of Charles II. [13]

After the restoration, Sir John Winter successfully reasserted his right to the Forest of Dean. However, in 1668 forest law was reestablished by Act of Parliament. in 1672, the King's ironworks were closed, to reduce pressure on the forest from mining. [14]

17th and 18th centuries

The Speech House, between Coleford and Cinderford, was built in 1682 to host the Court of Mine Law and "Court of the Speech", a sort of parliament for the Verderers and Free Miners managing the forest, game, and mineral resources. [15] The Gaveller and his deputy were responsible for leasing gales – areas allocated for mining – on behalf of the Crown. [10] The Speech House has been used as an inn and hotel since the 19th century.

During the 18th century, squatters established roughly-built hamlets around the fringes of the Crown forest demesne. By about 1800, these settlements were well established at Berry Hill and Parkend.

The Forest of Dean, with its huge iron ore reserves and ready supply of timber, had been of national importance in the production of iron, using charcoal, for hundreds of years. [16] Despite the abundance of coal, it was not used to produce coke for smelting and local ironmasters were reluctant to invest in new technology, but in the last decade of the 18th century coke-fired furnaces at Cinderford, Whitecliff and Parkend Ironworks were built almost simultaneously. [17]

The Dean Forest Riots

In 1808 Parliament passed the Dean Forest (Timber) Act, which included the provision to enclose 11,000 acres (4,500 ha) of woodland. This enclosure was carried out between 1814 and 1816.[ citation needed ]

There were bread riots in 1795 and in 1801. Ordinary Foresters were already poverty stricken, and their plight had grown worse. They were denied access to the enclosed areas and unable to hunt or remove timber. In particular, they lost their ancient grazing and mining rights.[ citation needed ]

Unrest was growing, and Warren James emerged as a populist leader of riots against the enclosures. Attempts to resolve the matter peaceably failed, and on 8 June 1831, James, leading more than 100 Foresters, demolished the enclosure at Park Hill, between Parkend and Bream. Around 50 unarmed Crown Officers were powerless to intervene. On the Friday, a party of 50 soldiers arrived from Monmouth, but by now the number of Foresters had grown to around 2,000 and the soldiers returned to barracks. On Sunday a squadron of heavily armed soldiers arrived from Doncaster and the day after, another 180 infantrymen from Plymouth.[ citation needed ] The Foresters’ resistance crumbled and most of those arrested elected to rebuild the enclosures, rather than be charged with rioting. James was sentenced to death but his sentence was later commuted to transportation. He was sent to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) in October 1831, only to be pardoned five years later, although he never returned home. [18]

Conservatives were disliked in the Forest of Dean and on the polling day of 1874 in the market town of Cinderford there was a riot in which the Conservative party headquarters and nearby houses were ransacked and damaged.[ citation needed ]

"Who killed the bears?"

On 26 April 1889, four Frenchmen and their two bears were making their way to Ruardean, having performed in Cinderford. They were attacked by an angry mob, enraged by claims that the bears had killed a child and injured a woman. The bears were killed and the Frenchmen badly beaten.

It soon became clear that the bears had not attacked anyone. Police proceedings followed and a week later 13 colliers and labourers appeared before magistrates at Littledean, charged with ill-treating and killing the bears and assaulting the Frenchmen. All but two were found guilty on one or more charges, with another convicted a week later. A total of £85 (equivalent to £9,200in 2018) was paid in fines. A subscription was also launched which generously compensated the Frenchmen.

The term "Who killed the bears?" existed for many years as an insult, directed particularly towards the people of Ruardean – despite the fact that all those convicted were from Cinderford. [19]

A fictionalised version of the incident was used by Dennis Potter for his TV play A Beast With Two Backs .

Industrial development in the 19th and early 20th centuries

Robert Forester Mushet (1811-1891), steel industry pioneer Robert Forester Mushet.jpg
Robert Forester Mushet (1811–1891), steel industry pioneer

Exploitation of the Forest of Dean Coalfield developed rapidly in the early 19th century with increased demand from local ironworks, and when some of the earliest tramroads in the UK were built here to transport coal to local ports the area was transformed by the growth of mining and the production of iron and steel.

In 1818–19 David Mushet built Darkhill Ironworks, where he experimented with iron and steel making. In 1845, his youngest son, Robert Forester Mushet, took over its management. He perfected the Bessemer Process by solving the quality problems which beset the process. [20] In a second key advance in metallurgy he invented Mushet steel (R.M.S.) in 1868. [21] It was the first true tool steel [21] and the first air-hardening steel. [22] It revolutionised the design of machine tools and the progress of industrial metalworking, and was the forerunner of High speed steel. The remains of Darkhill are preserved as an Industrial Archaeological Site of International Importance and are open to the public. [23]

Cinderford was laid out as a planned town in the mid-19th century, but the characteristic form of settlement remained the sprawling hamlets of haphazardly placed cottages. Characteristics shared with other British coalfields, such as a devotion to sport, the central role of miners' clubs, and the formation of brass bands, created a distinct community identity. [2]

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the Forest was a complex industrial region with deep coal mines, iron mines, iron and tinplate works, foundries, quarries and stone-dressing works, wood distillation works producing chemicals, a network of railways, and numerous tramroads. The tradition of independence in the area resulted in a great number of smaller and not necessarily economically successful mines. In 1904 the Gaveller oversaw a period of amalgamation of collieries which allowed deeper mines to be sunk. During the early 20th century, annual output from the coalfield rarely fell below 1 million tons. [10]

Changes since the mid-20th century

Part of the pithead structure at Hopewell Colliery museum. Hopewell Colliery - geograph.org.uk - 743625.jpg
Part of the pithead structure at Hopewell Colliery museum.

In 1945 half of the male working population worked in the coal industry but after the Second World War increased pumping costs and other factors made the coalfield less economic. The last commercial iron mine closed in 1946 followed in 1965 by the closure of the last large colliery, Northern United. [10] [24] There are still small private mines in operation, worked by freeminers and Hopewell Colliery is open to the public.

With the decline of the mines, the area has undergone a period of significant change, ameliorated to some extent by a shift to high technology, with companies establishing themselves in the area, attracted by grants and a willing workforce.

Many mines have now disappeared into the forest and the area is characterised by picturesque scenery punctuated by remnants of the industrial age and small towns. There remains a number of industrial areas but the focus has been to capitalise on the scenery and to create jobs from tourist attractions and the leisure sector. Significant numbers of residents work outside the area, commuting to Gloucester, Cheltenham, Bristol, Newport and Cardiff.

Cultural identity

For hundreds of years, mining in the Forest of Dean Coalfield has been regulated through a system of freemining. This, and other forms of self-governance, coupled with the Forest's geographic isolation between the rivers Severn and Wye, has given rise to a strong sense of cultural identity in those from the area, who are collectively known as 'Foresters'. [25] [26] The ancient rights were put on the statute books in the Dean Forest (Mines) Act 1838, the only public act to affect private individuals[ citation needed ]. Residents of the hundred over 18 can graze sheep in the Forest in accordance with an agreement between the Forestry Commission and the Commoners Association.

In October 2010 a woman won the right to be classified as a Freeminer. Elaine Morman, an employee at Clearwell Caves in the Forest, who had worked as a miner of ochre for a number of years, raised a claim of sexual discrimination against the Forestry Commission. After Mark Harper MP raised the matter in the House of Commons, the Forestry Commission reversed its position and agreed to register her. [27] [28]

Ecology

Lake at Mallards Pike, frozen during winter. A frozen Mallards Pike lake - geograph.org.uk - 1123951.jpg
Lake at Mallards Pike, frozen during winter.

The forest is composed of deciduous and evergreen trees. Predominant is oak, both pedunculate and sessile. Beech is common and sweet chestnut has grown here for many centuries. The forest is home to foxgloves and other wild flowers. Conifers include some Weymouth pine from 1781, Norway spruce, Douglas fir and larch. The deer are predominantly fallow deer and have been present since the second world war and number around 300 (there were no deer from about 1855 when they were removed in accordance with an Act of Parliament). A number of fallow deer in the central area are melanistic. Small numbers of roe deer and muntjac deer have spread in from the east.

The Forest is home to wild boar; the exact number is unknown but exceeds a hundred. They were illegally re-introduced to the Forest in 2006. A population in the Ross-on-Wye area on the northern edge of the forest escaped from a wild boar farm around 1999 and are believed to be of pure Eastern European origin; in a second introduction, a domestic herd was dumped near Staunton in 2004, but are not pure bred wild boar – attempts to locate the source of the illegal dumps have been unsuccessful. The boar can now be found in many parts of the Forest.

Locally there are mixed feelings about the presence of boar. [29] Problems have included ploughing up gardens and picnic areas, attacking dogs and panicking horses, road traffic accidents, and ripping open rubbish bags. The local authority undertook a public consultation and have recommended to the Verderers that control is necessary. Under its international obligations the UK government is obliged to consider the reintroduction of species made extinct through the activities of man, the wild boar included.[ citation needed ]

The Forest of Dean is known for its birds; pied flycatchers, redstarts, wood warblers and hawfinches can be seen at RSPB Nagshead. The mixed forest supports Britain's best concentration [ citation needed ] of goshawks and a viewing site at New Fancy is manned during February and March. Peregrine falcons can be seen from the viewpoint at Symonds Yat rock. Mandarin ducks, which nest in the trees, and reed warblers can be seen at Cannop Ponds and Cannop Brook, running from the ponds through Parkend, is famed for its dippers.

Butterflies of note are the small pearl-bordered fritillary, wood white and white admiral. Gorsty Knoll is famed for its glowworms and Woorgreens Lake for its dragonflies.

Transport

Rail

Historic

Railways and Canals of the Forest of Dean
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Waterways legend
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Mitcheldean Road
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Drybrook Quarry
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Newnham
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River Severn
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Severn Railway Bridge
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Sharpness
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Sharpness Docks
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Sharpness branch line
Upper Forge
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Lydney Harbour
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Lydney Canal
Lower Forge
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River Severn

The Forest of Dean once boasted a developed railway network, much of which was built to facilitate freight and passenger travel to and from mineral workings in the Forest. Many of these lines were part of the Severn and Wye Railway Company. [30] [31] [32] The Forest of Dean Central Railway ran from the River Severn at Lydney to Cinderford, with a branch line to Lydbrook constructed for onward travel on the Ross and Monmouth Railway. The Forest of Dean Central Railway was also linked to the Wye Valley Railway towards Monmouth via a line known as the Coleford Railway. Most of these railways now cease to exist, with most of the railways in the Forest abandoned by 1968. [33]

Today

The Gloucester-Newport line continues to carry passengers.

Lydney railway station serves the Forest of Dean, with 0.196 million passenger entries and exists in 2017/18. The station is served by trains operated by Transport for Wales Rail, linking the Forest directly to Cheltenham and Gloucester to the north, and Chepstow, Newport, Cardiff and onward destinations in South Wales. CrossCountry runs limited services to the station, linking the Forest to Birmingham New Street and onward destinations in the Midlands. [34] [35]

Dean Forest Railway near Parkend. 9681 South of Parkend Dean Forest Railway.JPG
Dean Forest Railway near Parkend.

The Dean Forest Railway between Lydney Junction and Norchard is a preserved railway and visitor attraction. [31] [36]

Road

The A40 runs along the northern and northeastern edges of the Forest of Dean. The road provides the Forest with a direct connection to Ross-on-Wye and the M50 in Herefordshire. Eastbound, the road runs towards Monmouth and South Wales. To the West, the road links the Forest directly to Gloucester, the M5, Cheltenham and Oxford. North of the Forest, the road is managed by Highways England. [37]

To the southeast of the Forest, the A48 links the region to Chepstow, the M4 and Newport, or Gloucester. This route passes around the Lydney area and follows the course of the River Severn.

Other key routes include:

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels, measured using roadside diffusion tubes, are generally well below the UK national target for clean air, set at 40µg/m³ (micrograms per cubic metre). In 2017, no roadside monitoring site in the Forest of Dean District failed to meet the UK objective. The most polluted site measured was on Lydney High Street, with a 2017 average NO2 concentration of 36.9µg/m³. [38]

Notable people

Towns and villages

The list below includes towns and villages within or adjoining the historic Forest; it does not include settlements which are located outside that area but which are within the larger District Council area.

Places of interest

In the media

See also

Related Research Articles

Cinderford town on the eastern fringe of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England

Cinderford is a small town on the eastern fringe of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England, which had a population of 8,494 at the 2011 census.

Parkend village in United Kingdom

Parkend is a village, located at the foot of the Cannop Valley, in the Royal Forest of Dean, West Gloucestershire, England, and has a history dating back to the early 17th century. During the 19th century it was a busy industrial village with several coal mines, an ironworks, stoneworks, timber-yard and a tinplate works, but by the early 20th century most had succumbed to a loss of markets and the general industrial decline. In more recent times, the village has found new life within the tourism sector, primarily as a centre for the provision of tourist accommodation.

Coleford, Gloucestershire town in the west of the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England

Coleford is a small market town in the west of the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England, two miles east of the Welsh border and close to the Wye Valley. It is the administrative centre of the Forest of Dean district. The combined population of the two electoral wards in Coleford at the 2011 census was 8,359.

Dean Forest Railway

The Dean Forest Railway is a 4 14-mile (6.8 km) long heritage railway that runs between Lydney and Parkend in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.

St Briavels village in United Kingdom

St Briavels is a medium-sized village and civil parish in the Royal Forest of Dean in west Gloucestershire, England; close to the England-Wales border, and 5 miles (8 km) south of Coleford. It stands almost 800 feet (240 m) above sea level on the edge of a limestone plateau above the valley of the River Wye, above an ancient meander of the river. To the west, Cinder Hill drops off sharply into the valley.

North Gloucestershire Association Football League

The North Gloucestershire Association League is a football competition based in England. The league is affiliated to the Gloucestershire County FA. It has five divisions, of which the highest, the Premier Division, sits at level 14 of the English football league system and is a feeder to the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League.

Milkwall village in United Kingdom

Milkwall is a village in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England. It lies between the village of Sling to the south, and the town of Coleford to the north.

Severn and Wye Railway

The Severn and Wye Railway began as an early tramroad network established in the Forest of Dean to facilitate the carriage of minerals to watercourses for onward conveyance. It was based on Lydney, where a small harbour was constructed, and opened its line to Parkend in 1810. It was progressively extended northwards, and a second line, the Mineral Loop was opened to connect newly opened mineral workings.

Whitecroft village in United Kingdom

Whitecroft is a village in the Forest of Dean in west Gloucestershire, England. It is located in-between Bream and Yorkley. Whitecroft comes under the postal district of Lydney.

David Mushet Scottish metallurgist

David Mushet was a Scottish engineer, known for his inventions in the field of metallurgy.

Tufts Junction was a junction on the Severn and Wye Railway between Lydney Town and Whitecroft. The junction is now on the Dean Forest Railway between Norchard and Whitecroft.

Darkhill Ironworks

Darkhill Ironworks, and the neighbouring Titanic Steelworks, are internationally important industrial remains associated with the development of the iron and steel industries. Both are scheduled monuments. They are located on the edge of a small hamlet called Gorsty Knoll, just to the west of Parkend, in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. Historically, Darkhill was sometimes written Dark Hill.

Whitecliff Ironworks

Whitecliff Ironworks, sometimes referred to as Whitecliff Furnace, at Coleford, in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England, are industrial remains associated with the production of iron, using coke, in the Forest of Dean.

Cinderford Ironworks

Cinderford Ironworks, also known as Cinderford Furnace, was a coke-fired blast furnace, built in 1795, just west of Cinderford, in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England.

Forest of Dean Coalfield

The Forest of Dean Coalfield, underlying the Forest of Dean, in west Gloucestershire, is one of the smaller coalfields in the British Isles, although intensive mining during the 19th and 20th centuries has had enormous influence on the landscape, history, culture, and economy of the area.

The Monmouth Railway, also known as the Monmouth Tramroad, was a horse-drawn plateway of 3 ft 6in gauge. It ran for about 5 miles (8.0 km) from Howler's Slade, east of Coleford, in Gloucestershire and Monmouth; there were two branches from other mineral sites. It was intended to bring mineral products of the Forest of Dean to Monmouth, and to the works alongside the River Wye.

Speech House Road railway station

Speech House Road railway station is a disused railway station opened by the former Severn and Wye Railway in 1875, it remained open for 88 years until the line, north of Parkend, closed to freight in 1963. Passenger trains on the Severn and Wye Railway, north of Lydney, were withdrawn from 1929.

Cinderford New railway station

Cinderford New railway station is a disused railway station that was opened by the former Severn and Wye Railway to serve the mining town of Cinderford.

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Coordinates: 51°47′N2°32′W / 51.79°N 2.54°W / 51.79; -2.54