Gloucestershire

Wild boar in the Forest of Dean

Some 800 (as of 2015) wild boar are thought to be living wild in here after a 300 year absence from Britain. Read

A munitions factory

In Out of the Woods: The armchair guide to trees Will Cohu points out the military uses trees here were to be used for before the arrival of ironclads from the 1840s onwards spelled the end for ships of oak.
“A walk through some parts of the Forest of Dean is a trip through an abandoned munitions factory stocked with supplies for sea battles that were never fought.” Here

Roger Deakin

Roger Deakin on entering the Forest of Dean in his Wildwood:

However you approach it, the forest feels fortified and secretive, exactly as in all the Dennis Potter plays. It has always had an uneasy relationship with the outside world, and there are still people in the villages who have never ventured even the twenty miles to Gloucester. Hoisting myself into the forest, I saw everything in crayon colours: a bright-blue British Legion hut, orange bracken, bright-red leaves of gean in the woods, the black shadows of yew. The road tunnelled through beeches, past Furnace Cottages, past diving squirrels and an old man on his knees raking acorns into a bag with the crook of his walking stick. Deeper into the forest it got darker, like a mineshaft.

Nature in Art museum

Nature in Art is the world’s first museum and art gallery dedicated to fine, decorative and applied art inspired by nature.The collection is located just outside Gloucester. Read


The National Arboretum

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, is just outside the Cotswold town of Tetbury. Run by the Forestry Commission, it contains some 15,000 labelled trees (around 2,500 different species) from Britain and other temperate climates. Here

Gloucester’s Lampreys

The city of Gloucester famously supplied the English monarchs with lampreys from the River Severn. In 1230, King John, famously fined the city 40 marks (about £250,000 today) – for failing to deliver him a lamprey pie for Christmas. The tradition was discontinued in 1836 except for coronations and jubilees. Gloucester sent the Queen in 2012 a pie in to mark the Diamond Jubilee the fish had to be imported from the Great Lakes of North America as UK lamprey numbers are so low. Acording to the chronicler Henry of Huntingdon, Henry I died in 1138 after gorging himself on a surfeit of lampreys against his physician’s advice.