The Forest Activities Festival would like to thank all who supported the event ……..we are so lucky to have the most amazing activities on offer in the Forest of Dean and fabulous local people to appreciate it. Thank you to all who volunteered their time and helped make the festival a success despite the April showers! Well done to all!
A special thanks to Ian Gough for being our guest of honour & joining in while supporting the charity Hire A Hero.
New Festival A Hit for the Forest of Dean
The first Forest Activities Festival took place in the grounds of The Speech House Hotel on Sunday 27 April 2014, offering locals and tourists alike a wealth of indoor and outdoor pursuits to try.
Whether you’re hoping to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle or simply looking to take up a new hobby, there was everything from archery, mountain biking and bush craft to cookery, photography, golf and throwing pots on offer from a whole host of local businesses. Some of our most popular activity providers were at the event including Go Ape, Pedalabikeaway Forest Hills Golf club, Taurus Crafts and Forest of Dean Adventure. Quirkier activity stands such as Artspace invited you to try your hand at trapeze and circus skills.
Or if you’d rather a less adrenaline fuelled excursion, the Forest of Dean Ramblers and Walking for Health stands provided a stroll down to the Speech House Lake.
Little ones could learn all about the flora and fauna of the forest from the Forestry Commission throughout the day, while the more adventurous kids could unleash their inner Bear Grylls and build dens out of natural materials.
Music was not missed out with performances from 16 yr old Devon Cassells & the Lydbrook Ukulele band who until three years ago had not even picked up a ukulele and now they are spreading the love of the jumping flea wherever they find an audience.
Outbreaks of community singing were heard as The singing club will be appearing with the brilliant, charismatic Karl Daymond of Opera Playhouse. The Forest of Dean Singing Club is all about enjoying the art of singing and music-making and you will be able to join in their workshop.
International Welsh rugby star and London Irish player, Ian Gough was there to kick off the event. Ian appeared in support of the charity ‘Hire a Hero’. There were even rumours that there will be an English player on site for a Wales V England activity.
The RFU and GRFU had a stand which featured a fun passing challenge testing peoples passing accuracy. At 2pm they were showcasing the new rules of play for the under 7 and 8 age groups in the main arena. Local teams from Bream, Drybrook and Westbury were there to showcase their skills. Many came along and supported local rugby and the stars of the future.
Innovative and original artists, makers and designers showcased and sold their work in our arts & craft marquee with some art based workshops available to take part in also.
The Forest Showcase, the largest food festival in the area hosted their own food hall and dished out delicious local produce. The showcase included an eclectic mix of new food producers alongside their regulars.
A dog show was organised by Greyhound Rescue West of England (GRWE), the leading greyhound rescue charity in England and Wales. Categories included Handsomest male dog, Prettiest female dog, Best puppy (under 1 year), Best Veteran (>9years), Best Rescue dog, Dog the judge would most like to take home. The Gloucestershire branch of the charity hosted a stand at the event and brought along some dogs who were looking for their forever homes.
FODDIY Films were showing new and collected films by local DIY film makers. The 1 to 10 minute long films are about all sorts, from balloons in space, horse riding, cheese rakes, to exploding cabbages. FODDIY Films was originally the creation of Tom Cousins but has now become a group with regular meetings to which all are welcome.
With the chance for visitors of all ages to explore everything the fairytale Forest of Dean has to offer, whilst raising heart rates and excitement levels to boot, the Forest Activities Festival was hugely successful and is now set to be a real highlight on the county calendar for families in particular, so come along next year & have a go!.
Entry £2 Adults U 16’s free.
Adventure, Local Food, Arts & Crafts, Live Music….
Former Wales Rugby Grand Slam winner Ian Gough was guest of honour at the first Forest Activities Festival top be held in The Speech House Hotel grounds on 27th April 2014.
Ian who now plays for London Irish has made 119 Ospreys appearances after signing in the summer of 2007, represented his country on 64 occasions and won Grand Slams in 2005 and 2008. Prior to his move to the Ospreys, he made 92 appearances for the Newport Gwent Dragons and has clocked up a total of 211 regional rugby appearances since 2003.
Ian was appearing in support of the charity ‘Hire a Hero’, a charity which provides practical support for Army, Navy and Air Force personnel, regardless of whether they have already left military service or are about to embark on the transitional process.
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