Love Living Here - March in the Forest of Dean

March is a great time here in the Forest with all the frolicking lambs and green shoots bringing with them a new burst of enthusiasm and optimism for the year ahead. Many groups are planning their summer activities; thinking of trips to the seaside or just days out to admire the bluebells.   It’s great there’s so much is going on in the Forest of Dean this spring, with tons of outdoor events on the horizon I’m really looking forward to getting out and about with Barney (the VW Camper Van) and chatting to folks around the area.

It has been our aim this year to recruit some Forest of Dean Ambassadors to help spread information about the Trust throughout the local area. It’s over 40 miles from one end of the Forest to the other and the rural nature of the area has meant it’s tricky to really reach all the people within the community that may benefit from our grants. We are so lucky that two wonderful and well-connected people have offered to help us in spreading the word and we are delighted to welcome Kathryn Watson and Jackie Frost to our small but beautifully formed team.   We hope to recruit more Ambassadors to help with this work, so if anyone feels that promoting Barnwood Trust and its work in the county is their thing – please get in touch.

Earlier in the month I attended a very interesting talk on dementia at the Forest of Dean District Council offices. Fascinating to learn of the many forms and how just a few of these manifest themselves. For more information about dementia awareness and helping to cope you can contact Lena Maller at the Forest of Dean District Council. She can offer training, help and advice.

I also attended the first Coleford Community Spaces meeting at the 16 Community Café in Coleford. A group of people interest in trying to get their own community space for activities; bike repair, arts and crafts have joined together to try and achieve their goals. They hope to find shared space for their activities – open to everyone and open during the evenings. For more information about the group or if you have a space or shed you would like to see used, even space to start up a small business. For dates of future meetings and more information contact Ali on:

On 15th March I visited the aptly named Newnham Friendship Club at the Armoury Hall, Newnham. I met with some charming and chatty people and was plied with some most delicious cake. A great place just to spend an afternoon chatting it runs every other Wednesday. The Friendship Club is a social club for the over 50s, its chief function is to provide a venue for members to meet their friends for a chat and a cup of tea but there is usually also some entertainment which varies from fortnight to fortnight. For more information please phone Nigel Haig on (01594) 516545.

Just met up with Chris Kaye, who is now using his funding to run and FREE synthesiser workshop at the library in Coleford and at Sound Space in Cinderford. He is really keen to share his skill and enthusiasm and can be booked for free tuition or is running drop-in sessions at the library. For more information get in touch with him at:

Festival of Transport here in Coleford at the weekend and the Forest Activities Festival just around the corner and plenty more fantastic things happening here all the time – just not enough space to add them all.


‘The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up..’

Mark Twain 

……Or just indulge your passion for CHOCOLATE!!!




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