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Celebrating Our Forest Reading the Forest

Reading the Forest


There is a long tradition of writing in and about the Forest. Our people, places and traditions have appeared in books of fiction, fact, and fable, poems, comedy and plays since at least the 18th century. This project will create a range of resources, activities and events to encourage people of all ages to engage with this rich seam of stories set in and about our Forest landscape.

What will the project deliver?

This project will identify, research, and enhance awareness, locally and further afield, of the rich literary heritage of the Forest.

It will be led by academics from the local University of Gloucestershire and residents of the Forest community with specific specialisms in Forest literature, media and history, working closely with local volunteers.

Specialist education materials will be designed and produced with teachers for use in support of school curricula in subjects such as English, History, Drama, and PSHE. See Reading the Forest 'Teacher Resources' and Reading the Forest 'Forest Literature Timeline'.

The project will:

  • Put on its own events, as well as working with existing local events, as opportunities for engagement, education and raising the profile of Forest literary heritage
  • Put together a literary trail, available in both print format, and as part of a mobile application
  • Research the Forest literary heritage, and compile a bibliography

A "Forest of Dean Anthology" will be compiled and published, providing a free copy for every school and library, and it will also be made available through local visitor attractions, Tourist Information, tourism businesses, and for download as e-book via the website.

The project will contribute across the entire Foresters' Forest programme, providing literary links and resources for e.g. Freeminers, ecologists, built heritage, archaeology etc. providing evidence of how Foresters lived and experienced the Forest habitat.

What can I get involved in?

We’re looking for volunteers to carry out research, book review writing, author biographies, and to help us with digital media content, all contributing to an engaging and participative online resource and forum.

Click here to go to the Reading the Forest website. 

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