A Walk on the Wild Side
The Forest of Dean is the perfect place for nature lovers and adventure seekers. This beautiful vacation spot provides so many opportunities to relax, unwind and connect with the natural world. Visitors to the area can try everything from restful forest bathing to exciting wildlife safaris and just about everything in between! Read on to find out how you can connect with nature during your stay.
Step into the forest and let your senses come alive. Breathe in fresh air. Tune into the soothing sounds around you. Feel the earth beneath your feet. Allow the energy of the forest to refresh your mind, rejuvenate your body and nourish your soul. Not sure what to do? Why not book a guided Forest Bathing session or explore the helpful suggestions in the link below.
Guided Forest Bathing Location – forest bathe
A Guide to Forest Bathing Your guide to forest bathing | Forestry England
Book an extraordinary wildlife adventure. Spot majestic deer, shy wild boar and a variety of other mammals, reptiles, insects and birds in the world they call home. Deepen your connection to the natural world and create some magical memories.
To arrange a wildlife Tour
- Forest of Dean Wildlife Tours – https://fodwildlifetours.com/
- Wildlife Safaris with Ed Drewitt – https://www.eddrewitt.co.uk/
Ideal places to spot wildlife in the Forest of Dean
Wenchford: Located in the heart of the forest, this popular picnic spot is surrounded by forest, streams, and ponds. Here you might see kingfishers, dippers, and a variety of birds.
Mallards Pike Lake: This picturesque lake is surrounded by forest and offers fantastic opportunities for birdwatching. Keep an eye out for buzzards, sparrowhawks, and great spotted woodpeckers.
Cannop Ponds: A series of ponds and streams. This area is home to otters, water voles, and a variety of fish. You may also see herons, dragonflies, damselflies and a variety of waterfowl including swans.
Symonds Yat Rock: This viewpoint overlooks the River Wye. It offers stunning views of the forest. It’s great place to spot peregrine falcons, buzzards, and goshawks.
Conservation Projects & Nature Reserves
- Beavers at Greathough Brook Conservation Scheme aims to reintroduce beavers and preserve their habitat. https://www.forestryengland.uk/beavers-greathough-brook-forest-dean
- The Pine Marten Reintroduction Project aims to reintroduce pine martens to control species like grey squirrels. https://www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/project-pine-marten
- The Conservation Grazing Project and the location of Highland Cattle, Exmoor Ponies, Hebridean Sheep & Hardwick Sheep uses grazing as a natural method to manage the landscape promoting the growth of native plants. https://www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/forest-of-dean-conservation-grazing
- The Butterfly Conservation Project at Cinderford Linear Park focuses on preserving and enhancing butterfly populations in the area. The project supports the life cycle of butterflies including breading, feeding and hibernation https://www.forestersforest.uk/projects/17/butterflies
- Woorgreens Nature Reserve is a natural haven offering a peaceful spot where visitors can explore a range of habitats, including forests, ponds and meadows. https://www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/nature-reserves/woorgreens
- Nagshead RSPB Nature Reserve is a peaceful sanctuary with ancient oak forests and picturesque trails. The reserve offers a setting ideal for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. Visitors can spot a variety of bird species including nightingales and goshawks. https://www.visitdeanwye.co.uk/things-to-do/nagshead-nature-reserve-p130
The Butterfly Zoo at Symonds Yat West
Step into a world of fluttering wings and vibrant colours. The Butterfly Zoo is home to butterflies from around the world. Wander through the tropical gardens and witness their delicate beauty up close. Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo
Llama and Pony Trekking
For a unique experience book a Llama or pony trekking adventure. These guided tours allow you to forge a special connection with these gentle and friendly creatures as you explore forest trails.
The Forest of Dean is a haven for nature lovers. From the serene practice of forest bathing to the exciting wildlife safaris there is something for everyone. No matter how you spend your holiday the Forest of Dean encourages you to take a walk on the wild side and connect with nature.
We’d love to see your wildlife photos – remember to tag us in #willowforeststays and we will share them to our stories.