News – 5 September 2016

Forthcoming Meetings

We have fixed the dates of meeting for the next 12 months so you can put them into your diaries now.  See this page for full details.  Our next meeting is 9 November at Harts Barn Cookery School when we will be inviting you to taste some of the food and drink produced in the area.  Members are also invited to a social evening at Puzzlewood on Monday 12 September, 18.00 to 20.00.  Further details.


As we move into Autumn, now is the time to start sending us details of events between now and Christmas.  Don’t assume that we know what is happening – we need you to tell us about events that you organise, that you attend which may interest others and things happening in your locality.  Tell us about half-term, Halloween, bonfires and of course Christmas.  See this page for the information needed and send the details to

Hidden Gems

Pork Farms has been running a campaign to find Britain’s favourite hidden gems.  They have compiled a short list of five attractions in each region and it includes Tintern Abbey.  Strangely Tintern Abbey is listed in the South West, rather than Wales although as an Association we are used to ignoring the border.  The winners will be chosen by a public ballot so please help by voting for Tintern Abbey.  Vote here and do remember to select the South West for Tintern Abbey.


Well done to the following members who are finalists in the Monmouthshire Business Awards 2016.

Tourism Action Plan

The Government has published its Tourism Action Plan which outlines how it will be supporting the tourism industry and ensuring the benefits of tourism will be felt across the United Kingdom.  Further details and read the report.


Forest of Dean District Council are trying to encourage businesses around the district to become Dementia Friends. Lena Maller, Community Engagement Officer, FODDC, is able to offer via herself and other partners some free dementia training if anyone is interested in helping to improve their customer service in this area or becoming a Dementia Friend.  Training only takes a couple of hours, is really informative, makes you think and is not only useful for business, but in personal lives.  Becoming a Dementia Friend could also be good for business, it can be used as a USP when advertising the business and some small differences to layouts of accommodation or attractions could really make a difference.  If you would be interested in running training or would like to know more please get in touch with Lena Maller,, 01594 812609.

You might also be interested in a recent publication, Becoming a dementia-friendly retailer : A Practical Guide.

Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to places that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission.  It is a once-a-year chance to discover architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities that bring local history and culture to life.  The open days this year are 8 to 11 September and the brochure can be downloaded.  The following members are taking part.

  • Speech House Hotel
  • Tan House Farm
  • Bespoke Brewery
  • Newland Church
  • Dean Forest Railway
  • Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Tour Guides
  • St Briavels Castle
  • Dean Heritage Centre

Further details

Charity Vintage Clothes Sale

Our member Tricia Cowan is holding a Vintage Clothes Sale at Awre on Saurday 17 September.  Much of the sale comprises really interesting clothes from her mother’s house including Dior and other labels, probably worn in the 1960s.  Further details.  Tricia is borrowing a marquee, pretty china, mannequins, and has plenty of parking.  Proceeds will go to Scottish Catholic International Aid Foundation,  Muscular Dystrophy Research and more locally to Awre Village Hall and Newnham Community Library.

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