Hello, my name is Gerry and I’d like to introduce myself as the new Forest Ranger at our lovely Forest of Dean location in Gloucestershire.
I’m really excited to be a part of the Forest Holidays team and I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge and meeting lots of new people as an onsite Forest Ranger.
From rural Ireland to the Forest of Dean, naturally
I spent my childhood days in rural Ireland and enjoyed endless hours exploring the countryside around me. Some of my happiest memories are from those times where I immersed myself in the natural world with my family and friends. I believe passionately that increased access to our surroundings, as well as awareness and understanding of our environment, enriches us all. I’m excited now in turn, to have the opportunity to help create wonderful and lasting memories for our guests.
I enjoy igniting a spark in the enquiring mind of a Young Explorer, equipping people with genuinely useful bush skills and increasing awareness of the forest wildlife and ecology around us, during our ranger-led sessions. I especially enjoy leading Night Vision walks around the forest and hearing our customers say that it’s a completely new and exhilarating experience for them.
The famous Forest of Dean Wild Boar
All our sites, of course, have their own specialities and I must admit that seeing wild boar for the first time here in the Forest of Dean was quite special for me. It was certainly a unique experience for some of our recent guests who had unexpected extra lodgers, when a female boar gave birth to six little piglets underneath their cabin! After a couple of days of staff monitoring the situation and safeguarding the welfare of all, our mummy boar has now happily relocated her family into the wider forest.
Spring into action
Wild boar sightings increase at this time of year and they are an exciting addition to the local forest ecology. In addition, we have nightly sightings of roe and fallow deer on our Night Vision walks, with an occasional appearance from one of the resident foxes. We’ve got lots of frog spawn in the ponds and drains around us and I’ve already had my first newt sightings of the year.
A little further afield, at Symonds Yat rock, we have excellent views of nesting peregrine falcons and displaying goshawks at this time, as well as occasional sightings of ravens. Indeed, the forest all around us is bursting into life at the moment as the days lengthen and gradually become warmer.
Keep in touch
Over the months ahead, I look forward to being an ambassador for the region and helping our guests to enjoy and engage with the forest around them. I’ll be posting regular ranger updates about nature’s calendar on our Forestipedia pages and I look forward to networking and interacting with you all! Best of all, I look forward to showing you the secrets of the forest first-hand, when you stay here at the Forest of Dean.