By the late 18th century, tourism had started in the Wye Valley, with many visitors travelling on the river to see Tintern Abbey and other “picturesque” sites in the area. Tintern Abbey was founded beside the river by Walter de Clare on 9 May 1131, during the reign of King Henry I. It was the second Cistercian foundation in Britain, and its monks came from a daughter house of Cîteaux in France.
The 20 million trees that cover the Royal Forest of Dean include oak, beech, ash, birch and holly trees. The forest of Dean is renowned for forestry research in forestry techniques (growing, harvesting and conservation) with both coniferous and broad leaf trees.