Explore the Forest of Dean

This ancient forest has changed many times over the centuries. In medieval times it was a royal hunting forest, before becoming a source of timber for the navy's Tudor warships. By Victorian times it was a major site of industry, with coal mining and tramways punctuating the landscape.

Today the forest is home to a wide variety of wildlife, and a great place to explore. See if you can find the hidden remains of industry as you enjoy this wild and beautiful forest.

Way marked running routes are coming soon to the Forest of Dean in the New Year.

GEM - Going the extra mile

The Going the Extra Mile (GEM) Project aims to engage with and support 1,100 individuals over the next three years in Gloucestershire who are currently dealing with circumstances that are potentially causing barriers to work and move these people closer towards education, training, volunteering or work, including self-employment.

The GEM Project will reconnect people with their local services and ultimately help them achieve their desired work based outcome through an individual personalised action plan. This programme is a unique partnership of community based organisations, managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council.

The GEM Project is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

The GEM Navigator Developer at the Forestry Commission is Andrew Cooper.  If you, or someone you know would like to work with Andrew to overcome barriers to work or volunteering please email andrew.cooper@forestryengland.uk.

GEM logo

These are our main visitors sites in the Forest of Dean:

Beechenhurst - the best place to start your family forest adventure! 

Symonds Yat Rock - stunning views over the River Wye and beyond. 

Cannop Cycle Centre - trails for all ages and abilities, bike hire available on site.

Mallards Pike Lake - a scenic spot with a variety of activities on offer for you to enjoy.

Wenchford - popular picnic site beside the Blackpool Brook.  

Discovery Pass membership invitation - click to find out more about membership
Volunteer with us invitation - click to discover volunteer opportunities across England