Connecting People to Nature

Connecting People and Nature in the Forest of Dean              

Find out how people in the Forest of Dean have made a real difference to their local wildlife and wellbeing in this short film, commissioned by the Wye Valley River Festival to showcase the unique landscape of WVAONB, and what it takes to conserve it for future generations. Made by Camilla Adams a talented film maker who has  brought these stories to life.

The film is followed by a conversation between local experts on the topic of Why is it important to connect people to nature and how can we achieve greater connection in the future? 

Watch the film here:


Audio Description Available: Audio Introduction to Connecting People to Nature     

Audio Introduction Available: Connecting People to Nature Intro Notes                                                                                                         

Meet the experts

David Dewsbury
Project Leader, for Ponds and Reptiles, Foresters’ Forest National Lottery Heritage funded programme. David is a member of Gloucester Naturalists Society and is the Gloucestershire County Recorder for reptiles and amphibians. His interest in Forest wildlife has been encouraged by working with Forestry England teams who have involved David in butterfly and bird surveys, habitat management and reptile conservation. David retired to the Forest of Dean to be closer to wildlife.



Chris McFarling
Chairman of the Forester’ Forest Programme Board, Councillor and Joint Deputy Leader Forest of Dean District Council
From Galapagos Naturalist Guide to Diving Expedition leader, BBC NHU film researcher to environment & community project officer, Chris has followed his passion for the natural world for decades. To protect it Chris has turned politician, elected as the first Forest of Dean District Green Party councillor to campaign for the protection of our natural heritage whilst tackling the climate emergency.



Kate Wollen

Assistant Ecologist, Forestry England. Working for Forestry England in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley, Kate has worked with wildlife here for over for over 25 years. Her natural history interests are broad, and she has a particular love of Glow-worms, butterflies, dormice, bats, beavers, newts and flowering plants. Kate gets as much satisfaction from creating habitats as she does in studying the species that use them.




Rosie Kelsall
Community Wildlife Officer, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. Rosie has worked for over 25 years in wildlife conservation in Gloucestershire, and has a wealth of knowledge and skills, engaging and enthusing people of all ages with wildlife. From working with schools and nature tots to botanical surveys and training courses, Rosie uses her communication skills and approachable manner to great effect. Living with her family in the Wye Valley surrounded by fabulous countryside she is passionate about the many benefits of being outside, whether playing in a park, working in a garden, walking in woodland or just sitting on the doorstep, watching the world go by.



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