Places to stay, things to do, good food and drink
The Foresters’ Forest Hidden Heritage App is an exciting new way to explore the Forest of Dean because it’s like taking a step back in time, showing you the Forest’s industrial past in a series of magical Then and Now images. The App is free to download from the Apple iStore now
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id1063997355 and will be available from Android in due course, possibly Sept 2016.
The Hidden Heritage App follows the route of the Forestry Commission’s Family Cycle Trail and as you move along the path your location is tracked on a 1920s vintage OS map using GPS so that it triggers, for example, a ‘You have discovered Dilke Bridge’ message when you are near a Point Of Interest. At each of these sites the App will show you fading Then and Now images that brings the history of the Forest to life. One new user said ‘I never knew Beechenhurst looked like that’, after seeing an image of the Speech House Colliery that used to stand on what is now the Beechenhurst field.
See how many of the following places you recognise.
The App has been created by a group of volunteers who have a real passion for the Forest of Dean and wanted to share that knowledge, so that others can appreciate the industrial and social history contained within our beautiful green forest today. It’s taken hundreds of hours of labour, both out on the ground and behind a computer screen, all given freely by the volunteers. Some of them are too modest to be mentioned by name but Bob Smith (one of the team) explained the idea:
‘I felt that we weren’t making enough of our fantastic, very unique history and we needed a way to tell residents, visitors and our next generation of Foresters about some of the places where our history and heritage was forged’.
Sue Middleton, Programme Manager for the Foresters’ Forest added
‘We’d like to say a huge ‘Thank you’ to all the volunteers who have put an immense amount of time and effort into making this App. It’s just the sort of project that the Foresters’ Forest, Heritage Lottery Funded programme wants to support. We hope that this is the first of a series of Heritage Apps as other community groups use this template to create their own Heritage App for their trail, site or building in future’.
The Foresters’ Forest programme financed the technical side of creating the app, which was made by Dan Boys of Audio Trails. The route itself follows the Forestry Commission’s Family Cycle Trail which is a 9 mile circular route, suitable for all ages and abilities, mainly following former railway lines with connecting routes to villages and picnic and picnic sites.