Bluebells in the Forest of Dean

District Council queries Government’s response to report on Protected Landscapes

Forest of Dean District Council has voiced its disappointment with the Government’s lack of response to a recommendation for the Forest of Dean being designated an AONB, in an external Government-commissioned response to the Glover Report.

Leader of the District Council and Cabinet Member for Overall Strategy, Cllr Tim Gwilliam, said,

"When the Glover report was released in 2019 it was an exciting time for us, here was an official report for the Government that was in support of the Forest of Dean being designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which would help protect our beautiful environment. 

“You can imagine our disappointment when the Government’s response to the report was published and we found that they had remained silent on the subject.

“The Forest of Dean has been waiting for AONB status since the inception of the concept in 1947.

“If the Government does decide to move ahead and place National Parks and AONBs under one umbrella of “protected landscapes” with all the complications that may bring, there is a risk that this would leave unprotected areas, such as the majority of the Forest of Dean District, at greater risk of uncertainty of future protection and development. We want to protect the Forest’s beauty, history and culture while at the same time be able to flourish and regenerate. This can be a wonderful place to live, to learn, to work, to enjoy and to do business, AONB status will assist us in that aim”

The Glover Report was published in 2019 and reviewed National Parks and AONBs in England. The report supported the Forest of Dean district being designated a protected landscape. The Council had previously responded to the Review call for evidence in support of this.

In January 2022, the Government published its response to the Glover Report, but has provided no response to the Glover Report’s recommendation for the Forest of Dean to become a protected landscape.

If residents would like to submit their own views on the Glover Report and the Government’s response, they are encouraged to complete an online survey on the DEFRA website, which is open until 9 April 2022.

To find out more and complete the survey, visit

The Government’s response to the Glover report mainly focused on its wish to place AONBs and National Parks under the umbrella of “Protected Landscapes” and to expand this to cover 30% of England by the year 2030.

Contact Information

Forest of Dean Communications Team

[email protected]

Notes to editors

* The Glover report (p121) stated: “The Forest of Dean was on the original list in the 1947 Hobhouse report linked with the Wye Valley, which was designated as an AONB on its own in Page 15 1971. There have been several attempts since then to fulfil the expectation that the Forest of Dean would be designated. There now appears to be considerable local support that national designation would be good. There is a collaborative National Lottery Heritage Fund-supported project (the Foresters’ Forest) which would appear to provide an excellent jumping-off point for a new designation. We support it”

The Glover report 

The Government’s response to the Glover report