Here in the Forest of Dean we are so lucky in having extensive headwater streams that for most of their stretches still have the freedom to choose how they meander and how they flood. The waterways are the connective threads of all that is special to the forest…. the forest, the ponds, the open spaces, the boggy areas. This project is an opportunity to see the forest at its wildest and most secretive. It is an opportunity to map our waterways and look for ways we can reconnect the forest to the wider world as well as to nurture what is already there.

How to Get Involved:


  • Training on river habitat survey
  • Walk and survey the Forest brooks
  • Participate in fish surveys
  • Join in with spawning watch and redd watch
  • Survey for native white-clawed crayfish
  • Eel rearing in schools

If you would like to get involved in this project, please contact

Forest Voluntary Action Forum tel:  01594 822073  email: forestersforest@fvaf.org.uk

Before November 2016 this project will:

    Focus on the Blackpool Brook & Soudley/Cinderford Brook -

  • Develop a river habitat survey methodology and provide training
  • Use volunteers to undertake the river habitat survey (includes survey of invasive species).
  • Complete a baseline fish and crayfish survey.
  • Develop a river enhancement plan in conjunction with the open space project.
  • Determine likely locations for spawning watch and redd watch.
  • Explore options for eel rearing and other species in local schools for release into the forest brooks.

Between 2017 - 2022 the project will:

  • The actions above will be rolled out to all other brooks in the Forest
  • The overall aim is to develop river habitat enhancement plans to fit with the forest design plans/open space strategy for all the Forest brooks.

Project lead:

Alisa Swanson  -  email: alisa.swanson@naturalengland.org.uk


Salmon Jumping by Samantha Moore

photo credit: Samantha Moore