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.