My name is Richard Smart I live in Gloucestershire on the edge of the Forest of Dean. This is a wonderful area for photography with both stunning scenery and wildlife.

The Forest of Dean holds all the common woodland birds with star species such as Goshawk, Pied Flycatchers, Hawfinches, Crossbills and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers to name a few.

The mammal population, including fallow deer, has been augmented by escaped wild boar which are now breeding rapidly and estimates of their numbers vary from several hundred to a few thousand. They are proving to be a bit of a nuisance rooting up gardens and cricket pitches etc.

In recent years Beavers and in 2019 Pine Martens have been re-introduced. A bit difficult to spot but very satistying.

The Forest of Dean lies between the rivers Severn and Wye and is planted with conifers and mixed deciduous woodland. There are many paths and cycle routes and the locals continue to make sure that the area remains an area for all to enjoy.

The Severn bore is a spectacle not to be missed. All tides on the Severn are bore tides but “spring tides” bring the highest waves.

The Forest was an intensely industrial area until the 1960s. Quarries and coal mines littered the area but ironically these have merged back into nature and provided habitats for all kinds of species.

The image shows an old drift mine entrance. You can see the colour of the water caused by the amount of iron ore in the area.