Studio 2: 800 Years and Counting

The 1217 Charter of the Forests in the Forest of Dean and its Enduring Legacy

The Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire - royal larder or people's larder? The Charter of the Forests, a lesser-known but wider-ranging companion to the Magna Carta, confirmed any "freemen" or commoners could help themselves to many of the resources of forests across England. Within 500 years, those subsisting in the woods were declared illegal squatters as aristocrats and the Crown tried to fence them out and grab all the iron ore, coal, timber and land. Successive waves of tenacious, described […]

Freedoms of the Forest

800 Years and counting: celebrating the Forest Charter 1217

Hopewell Colliery, Speech House Rd, Coleford, Forest of Dean GL16 7EL An afternoon celebrating 800 years (and counting) of the 1217 Forest Charter, and how Foresters have defended those rights ever since. Stalls, Berry Hill Silver Band, theatre, live music, Vorrest poetry, Warren James, HOOF, and much, much more! Book a car ticket here

FoD Torchlit Procession

Light up the forest with luminous clothes, armbands, banners and homemade lanterns… Mallards Pike, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire Wednesday November 5th 2014 5.30pm - 7.00pm Well behaved dogs welcome Wheelchair and pushchair-friendly No fireworks, bonfires or Chinese/Sky lanterns - we want to protect our forest! Wednesday November 5 - Clause 21 of the Infrastructure Bill (and HOOF’s amendment will be debated - and voted on) in the House of Lords. More at

HOOF New Year’s Message

New Year 2014 message from Rich Daniels, Hands Off Our Forest (HOOF) chairman. THREE years ago, on January 3, 2011, more than 3,000 of us gathered during a blizzard the field at Speech House to send a message to the Government: the Forest of Dean belongs to us, all of us, and we will not allow it to be sold off, disposed or transferred to private hands. Never! Six weeks later, we were told they’d got the message and the Government performed a ‘mea culpa’. “We’re sorry. We got it wrong.” But we […]

ACTION NOW! The Forest of Dean

ACTION NOW!The Forest of Dean is being Enclosed and Sold off! Join us for a 'walk' on Sunday the 3rd of February! Take Notice, Foresters All, that Free Peoples of the Forest, intend to Meet at 12o'clock near the Free Miner Monument in Cinderford Triangle on Sunday next, the 3rd of February instant for the purpose of Opening the Forest, which hath in part of late been enclosed and threatened with Privatisation, Sale, "Land Exchanges" and other forms of political thievery and corruption. We […]

HOOF Say’s: Let’s Have A Party

HANDS Off Our Forest is organising a celebratory party at Speech House, and everyone is invited to let their hair down and cheer the campaign’s victory. Musicians and entertainers, who rallied to the cause of keeping our Forest in public ownership, will be singing songs – many inspired by the great HOOF battle - with a little poetry and comedy also included. It’s hoped that everything from brass to lively acoustic music will help create a party atmosphere. Entry to the HOOF Celebration, on […]

Hands off our forest – saving the Forest of Dean

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Radical History Zone 2011 Poster
We have just seen a massive U turn by this government as a result of huge ground swell of public opinion against the proposed sell off of the Forestry Commission Estate. In the autumn of 2010, the campaign kicked off in the Forest of Dean with a huge public meeting in Cinderford which was attended by over 500 people and a rally in Speech House attended by 3000 people. Tory MP Mark Harper was invited to speak at both these events to present his case, but refused. A number of organisations have […]

The Life And Times Of Warren James

Free Miner Of The Forest Of Dean

The Life And Times Of Warren James Front Cover
Warren James was a man who was caught up in the social unrest that swept through the Forest of Dean in 1831, and who emerged as spokesman for the Foresters in their struggle to protect their ancient rights and way of life. The Forest Riots of 1831 were about insecurity, fear, poverty and starvation as a result of enclosures, enforced wage labour or unemployment. The Foresters fought to resist the twin onslaught from the Crown, who owned the Forest, and from businessmen who sought industrial […]

Hands Off Our Forest

Hands Off Our Forest is an organisation dedicated to fighting the threatened privatisation of the Forest of Dean. They have a new website that will contain information about meetings and rallies if you want to get involved. The address is: Hands Off Our Forest - an organisation dedicated to fighting the threatened privatisation of the Forest of Dean.A full web site will be published in the next few days but meanwhile for further information, to offer your support and help and for news of planned […]

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