Welcome to Forest Dialect Project

Forest Dialect is part of the Foresters’ Forest landscape partnership. It is a community project led by Dr Michelle Straw which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the University of Gloucestershire.  

The Forest of Dean is an important site for understanding how dialects develop their distinctiveness. It has a unique location and landscape on the border with Wales – a land between two rivers. Its beauty hides an industrial mining past. 

Knowledge of the traditional dialect is at risk of being lost forever as only a few speakers of the dialect remain. The Forest Dialect is a window into our English Language heritage and its Anglo-Saxon roots. Recording and describing the dialect will help our understanding of the development of the English Language and our literary heritage. 

Our project is working with volunteers, community groups and schools in the Forest of Dean to bring together local knowledge with linguistic expertise from the University of Gloucestershire to uncover and preserve the dialect. We are sharing what we find with schools, educational and community groups as well as through social media and this website. We will update the website periodically as the information becomes available.

Please note: we are currently developing resources and information related to the Forest of Dean, language and dialect. We shall be adding resources over the coming months. Please bear in mind that this website is still in development and we are reliant on volunteers for the website development, adding materials and so forth. If you spot any errors and omissions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Meanwhile check out the Educational Resources section.