There were smiles, a few (happy) tears and an impressive sense of achievement yesterday at our final Foresters’ Forest Celebration Event.
Held on 16th March 2022, at Forest Oak Farm (nr Lydney) more than 100 people joined us, including our project leaders, staff from partner organisations and many of our volunteers
What we discussed
In the afternoon session, we looked back over the last five years and considered how our many programme activities and £2.5 million National Lottery Heritage Fund spend has enabled us to successfully connect people with this special landscape, preserving its special character. By working together, our broad range of projects and activities and our project teams and volunteers have helped protect and strengthen the Forest for future generations.
Photos (from top to bottom): Event attendees, Volunteers group photo, Project Leaders group photo.
- Project leaders representing our 38 projects and our five themes, Our Stronghold for Nature, Securing Our Future, Revealing the Past, Celebrating our Forest and Exploring Our Forest presented as ‘panels’ to summarise their key achievements and plans for the future.
- Looking to the future, Forestry England shared their Our Shared Forest approach and forest plans for the Forest of Dean.
- Our research partner, Countryside & Community Research Institute summarised our key and high impact achievements, drawn from the evaluation they have completed for Foresters’ Forest. Look out for the final evaluation report due to be published on our website soon, as our final Latest News item.
- Finally there was vibrant discussion in the room, led by the Community Steering Group for Foresters’ Forest, about how the programme activity could and should continue.
The evening saw us change a gear, turning our attention to celebrating both the contribution of time and enthusiasm by our volunteers.
We were entertained by poet and musician Dick Brice (left) with a selection of his poems and songs – including a song he wrote celebrating Foresters’ Forest!
- We awarded 14 volunteers, recognising the significant hours they have contributed. Three individuals completed more than 1000 total volunteering hours each! In the photos below see Deb Cook (Volunteer Coordinator, Forest Voluntary Action Forum), Sue Middleton (our Programme Manager) awarding certificates (left to right) to Janet Marrott (Heritage Open Days) 1,132 hrs, David Dewsbury (Reptiles Project Leader) 1,134 hrs and Alison Collison (Friends of Scarr Bandstand) 2,677 hrs
- More than 1,000 volunteers have been involved, contributing over 37,000 hours at an estimated, staggering value of £831,000
26 projects are continuing with their work to protect, sustain and celebrate our cultural, built, buried and natural heritage. Our project pages on our website detail the achievements and plans for the future, for each project.
We thank and acknowledge our lead programme partner Forestry England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and our Programme Manager Sue Middleton for making Foresters’ Forest happen.
Photo credit: Steven Gregory, Volunteer Photographer for Foresters’ Forest
Cakes & event refreshments supplied by: Isabel’s Bakehouse