Forest of Dean
Local Exchange Trading System

Links to other LETS groups
Meeting dates
Members Agreement
Membership Form - in PDF format
To save the membership form to your computer  - right click on the link below - save as.  Open the PDF file on your computer and print off the membership form.
Please return to address at the bottom of this page or take to the next meeting.
Click here to join FODLets
Members - click here
to join the FODLets group

You have to sign up to Yahoo to join the FODLets group.

Local Exchange Trading Schemes (LETS) are trading systems through which the community can exchange its skills or services, without using money (sterling).  There are many schemes operating in the country, the local ones to the Forest of Dean being Stroud, Gloucester and many in Bristol.
Trading schemes bring the community together and put local people in touch with local skills.  They are first line regeneration systems as they keep currency in the local community and bring people from all walks of life together.

It is simple to operate. Each member has a 'cheque book' and a copy of a directory in which the services of all members are listed. There are no physical tokens - it’s more like earning gold stars or brownie points. LETS currency is only earned by trading, so members put currency into their accounts by doing work for other members. If you want a job done on LETS, you phone someone in the directory and negotiate a `price’ in the local currency units.

With LETS you do not Barter in the normal sense of the word.  It's like using imaginary money where you purchase a service or sell an item without doing a 'swap'.

As a new initiative for 2008, the group introduced a FOD LETS Yahoo group.  This will enhance the service to members by allowing password protected access to online adverts, newsletters, meeting information and so on.  Members are also able to post and review adverts themselves.  The scheme will work in conjunction with all our current ways of trading (phone, newsletter, directory, and so on).

In 2013, as an incentive to attract new members, the group adopted free membership.  Se below for more details.

Each LETS group has its own name for the unit of currency. In the Forest of Dean we call them "Deans" (we also have a smaller sub unit of the Dean called a "Vicar").  The usual rate for work is five "Deans" to the hour, but this may be negotiated between the people concerned (within a window of 5 - 10 Deans per hour).  A new member’s account starts at zero and they can "go into the red" straight away if they want, because by spending "Deans" they are helping another member to earn them.
It must also be remembered that no interest is charged on any account.

The scheme is self regulating in practice.  Members are trusted to use it fairly and as the accounts are published from time to time, all members can see how others operate.  If a member leaves the scheme, they must leave their account at zero or in credit.

When one member writes a cheque/voucher for an amount of 'Deans' to another, the member in receipt of the payment sends the cheque/voucher to the 'recorder', who records the transaction on computer.
Statements are sent out each month and lists of the work exchanged may be published in the Forest of Dean LETS newsletter, to show how active the system is and to encourage new members.

Members can advertise items for sale in the Newsletter at no cost and are also encouraged to write articles.

All kinds of services, skills or even goods are offered on LETS and everyone can do something useful, whether it’s a trade or profession like plumbing or legal-advice, or just help with ironing, gardening or baby-sitting.
Maybe you have a van to hire, a ladder to lend or just some muscle to get a wardrobe upstairs?  You can also sell unwanted items.  What you may feel is a simple thing to do - is usually needed by others!

One of the most popular trading area is food. Cakes, bread and vegetables are routinely traded at our monthly meetings and we have the occasional car boot for members in the summer season.

An initial meeting was arranged by Forest of Dean Friends of the Earth and an inaugural meeting followed soon afterwards.  The inaugural meeting elected officers and agreed a constitution.  This was in 1995 and the System has continued to operate with a steady membership of around 120.  We have been grant aided a Computer & publicity material from the Forest of Dean District Council and have purchased a Photocopying Machine with a Lottery grant.

We operate in the area of Gloucestershire bounded by the River Severn and River Wye (approximates to the Forest of Dean District Council area), but also have members in the Chepstow and Monmouth areas.  Our aim is for separate groups to eventually establish themselves in Chepstow and Monmouth.

We hold a monthly gathering (generally no meetings in January) in the Forest of Dean on the first Tuesday of each month (the venues change monthly - follow meetings link at top of page).  Once or twice a year we have an open air venue, previous years have included barbecues, didgeridoo playing, drumming and a visit around a farm.

At all gatherings, members, friends, visitors to the Forest and interested people are invited.  Each meeting also includes market stalls at which members can trade.  We have an open door policy - just come in, browse and have a chat.
Our meetings are normally well attended and we tend to find that those members who come to our meetings do more trading - you also get to meet other like minded people from all walks of life.

Children are also welcome at our meetings.

Just turn up at one of our monthly meetings, request an application form from the address below or E-mail us at the address below.  An annual subscription will be requested to cover the few administration costs which we have to pay for in sterling, such as postage and printing.  A service charge of 1 Dean per month may also be deducted from your account to cover non-sterling costs.  You will be provided with cheques/vouchers and a copy of the directory, so that you can begin trading straight away.  Members also receive a newsletter and directory updates on a regular basis.


For the 2013/2014 FOD LETS are pleased to announce free membership for the year. 

Existing and new members included.

New members - please complete the membership form (Word format) below

Click here for the free membership form

Once completed, return by Email to

Do NOT send any money

These are our normal membership rates (which are suspended until April 2014)


  • 7
  • 2 if second/third etc.  person at the same address


  • 3.50
  • 1 if second/third etc.  person at the same address

Our membership rates reflect a reduction in membership costs for two or more persons at the same address.  A standard paying member is always the primary payer and will pay 7, whilst a second person at the same address will pay 2 if waged or 1 reduced.  Subsequent members at the same address will also pay these reduced rates.

If there is no waged member then the first member will be at the 3.50 rate and any subsequent members will be at the 1 rate.

The membership year is from April to March.  Any new member joining after Christmas will have 3 months free membership. 

For more information our contact details are as follows:-
The Co-ordinator should be contacted in the first instance by Email.  If you do not have Email then a snail mail address is included but the response will be much slower.

By Post:-
Crown Lane
GL15 4TP

By Telephone:-
01594 562 014

By E-mail:- Copy and Paste the email address shown below into your email client



Copyright FOD LETS 1998 - 2013
Although we claim copyright and ownership of these pages - any bona fide LETS system or community group can use the the general information contained herein for LETS or community purposes (on a non profit basis).

Last revised: July 01, 2013