Over 30,000 people live in and, around the Forest of Dean and for many the forest literally comes to their doorstep. The Forest is closely intertwined with the community - it can truly be referred to as the original community forest. Public awareness of the management is both high and generally well informed. "Foresters" - natives of the Dean, are intensely proud of their forest and have an inherent understanding of it as a working forest and are more than ready to involve themselves in issues of forest management.
|The intimate mix of|
Community and Forest
In 1971 this involvement led to the ministerial directive about the proportion of broadleaves in the Forest; and in 1981 to the Act of Parliament excluding the Forest from Forestry Commission disposals. This is a forest where public involvement has been a way of life, and continues to be, for the managers for many years. With the disappearance of the old heavy industries, the forest became a more attractive place to live. The incomers do not necessarily have the same acceptance of forestry practices and can be more critical of change.