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Forester's Rights

Keeping sheep in the Forest

When you visit the Forest of Dean, you will be sure to see lots of sheep roaming around the forest and the roads. This is due to an ancient right bestowed upon foresters from Norman times. The right applies to people born within the Hundred of St. Briavels (effectively anywhere in the forest). The sheep keepers, known locally as "Sheep Badgers" simply turn their sheep out to graze. They are visited very regularly, and you may be fortunate to see one of the Badgers working with his sheepdogs.

Keeping pigs in the Forest

Another ancient right, which allows the locals to graze their pigs in forest in the autumn months, where they feed on the acorns from the oak trees.

Forest Freemining

Anyone born in the Forest of Dean within the Hundred of St. Briavels, and who has worked in a mine for a year and a day, may open up his own coal mine. There are very few freeminers at work today, but there are some! These mines are drift mines (a tunnel excavated into a hillside), and the mners sell their coal locally. One such mine, Hopewell Colliery, is now open to the public.

pick up the torch (you will need it!) and visit the Forest Freeminer at work

Freeminer Image
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