In October 2021, Forest Economic Partnership (FEP) and The Forest of Dean District Council launched a survey to discover whether the public and businesses want the Forest of Dean internationally recognised as a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Initially, the Council and the FEP are helping to explain to Forest of Dean residents what Biosphere Reserves are, and asking people to complete a short survey to gauge support for achieving Biosphere Reserve status in the area.
Cabinet member for climate emergency, Cllr Chris McFarling, said, “For many, this may be the first time they hear about biosphere reserves, and I encourage everyone to engage with the information available.
“Biosphere Reserve status has the potential to protect the Forest of Dean for generations. It is about strengthening our relationship with nature by introducing initiatives that reduce or eliminate activities that negatively affect the environment. This is achieved by promoting the wise use of natural and human resources, protecting unique habitats and promoting health and wellbeing through engagement with the natural world.
“This will only happen though, if there is support from local residents and local businesses. Please take part in the survey and voice your opinion, to ensure you get the forest you want.”
As a part of the Community Engagement Forest of Dean District Council have also releases a series of short videos about the benefits of Forest of Dean becoming a Biosphere Reserve.
Watch them all here:
Episode 1: What would a Biosphere Reserve status mean for the Forest of Dean
The first in a series of five short films Councillor Chris McFarling explains the basics of a Biosphere Reserve, what it could mean for the Forest of Dean and how residents can share their opinion for what they want for the future of their forest.