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Forest of Dean

In the Forest of Dean, Matt Baker is on the hunt for the elusive adder, while Margherita Taylor meets a local brass band and visits Puzzlewood.

This week Countryfile is in the Forest of Dean. Matt Baker hunts for the elusive adder and finds out about a project in the forest that is teaching locals heritage crafts. Margherita Taylor meets the brass band making a big noise in the area, and she also explores the extraordinary Puzzlewood to discover how a landscape like this is protected. Adam Henson is on his farm, keeping everything crossed as Lexie, his Suffolk Punch mare, gets a pregnancy scan, and Charlotte investigates whether enough is being done on the ground when it comes to boosting the number of trees across the UK.

56 minutes

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:20

    Agnes Obel


  • 00:22

    Glass Animals

    Black Mambo

  • 00:25

    Agnes Obel


Foresters' Forest

Foresters' Forest

The Forest of Dean is one of Britain’s greatest wooded landscapes and a sanctuary for all sorts of life.

Matt visits the heart of the Forest, near Coleford, where a new project has been set up that focuses on everything that makes the area special.

It's called Foresters' Forest, a partnership of conservation bodies, local councils and community groups, all helping preserve the forest's heritage and wildlife.

Matt meets up with Kate Wollen from Forestry England and her team of volunteers, who are  building a hibernaculum – a winter retreat for sleeping animals.


Puzzlewood has long been part of the Forest of Dean - and an area mined for iron ore up until Roman times.But, as Margherita discovers, over the centuries, nature has reclaimed those old workings, creating a fascinating landscape hidden among the trees.In the early 1800s, a local landowner laid down meandering pathways to open Puzzlewood up to visitors - which means today it needs to be carefully managed.And that means making sure the trees are safe, using both hi-tech and more down-to-earth methods of inspecting them.


Charlotte's looking at whether the UK is doing enough to plant new trees - both to help meet our carbon capture targets and to deal with the global problem of deforestation.She discovers just how many tonnes of carbon a tree can capture over a 100 years and meets the grass-roots campaigners trying to get more woodland planted.But what about all the day-to-day wooden homeware and paper stationery products we buy on the high street? Can we be sure it has all come from a sustainable source? 

Traditional Crafts

Traditional Crafts
Matt visits a social enterprise project that's encouraging people to revive traditional, land-based skills that were once commonplace in the Forest of Dean.

The people here come from all walks of life to learn those traditional skills.

And there's lots to learn, including woodworking, blacksmithing, spinning and furniture-making.

But how will Matt get on trying his hand at one of the oldest crafts: tanning?

Quarry Band

Quarry Band
The Forest of Dean is an area rich with industrial heritage, not least of all in the village of Lydbrook.At one time, this area pulsed with both the sound of industry - and brass bands!There's been a band in the village since 1850 and today it's still going from strength to strength, with new members and international tours.Today, for Countryfile, it's staging a very special concert in a very unusual location...


Role Contributor
Presenter Matt Baker
Presenter Margherita Taylor
Presenter Adam Henson
Presenter Charlotte Smith
Series Producer Joanna Brame
Executive Producer William Lyons