Dymock Forest Rural Action
DyFRA works to maintain the ancient woodland, flora and fauna of the Golden Triangle in north Gloucestershire.
DyFRA (Dymock Forest Rural Action) is a network of individuals and organisations with substantial experience in conservation and sustainable environmental action working in the Golden Triangle. Our mission is to maintain and develop, in a sustainable programme, the means of delivering economic benefit, climate mitigation, and enhanced landscape biodiversity to the local community.
DyFRA is an exemplar project of community woodland partnership; a model of co-ordination at grassroots level with statutory countryside agencies, wildlife and heritage groups, our district and parish councils, walking and cycling societies, small business contractors and a large body of volunteers. Working at the heart of the Dean Ridges and Leadon Vale, the group embraces the Wild Daffodil Project and manages recording the
biodiversity of local flora and fauna as well as lobbying for action under the Climate and Nature Emergency resolutions.
DyFRA’s work has concentrated on the Golden Triangle’s 1200-acre public forest estate with its contiguous margin of privately-owned forest, linked to ancient small woods of coppice woodland. The ground flora of indicator species of narcissus, viola and a wide
variety of meadow species supports a pyramid of important native species from dormice, to three species of deer, raptors and goshawk.
Until the 1900s, these woodlands produced small section hardwoods for tool handles and fencing, born from the ancient crafts of charcoal use and coppice products. Their seed stands of sessile oak, chestnut and wild service still continue to supply forest nurseries. Our iconic daffodils bloom widely across the district’s woodland pasture and field margins. Formerly harvested and distributed to markets countrywide via the GWR network, they are now a major tourist attraction, at the heart of the “Daffodil Way and Poets’ Paths” national trail.
The Golden Triangle
The Golden Triangle in north Gloucestershire is broadly defined by the villages of Dymock, Kempley and Oxenhall. The name we give to this gentle region of meadows, orchards and ancient woodland is inspired by the hosts of wild daffodils which carpet the ground in early Spring.Until the 1950s, the wild daffodil grew here in great profusion. The annual harvest brought in seasonal workers to help locals cut huge swathes of daffodils which were then distributed by rail along the Daffodil Line which linked Newent, Dymock and Ledbury to the flower markets in Birmingham, Bristol and London.The wild daffodil no longer grows here so profusely due to its diminishing habitat, caused by the loss of ancient woodlands and orchards and changing agricultural practices, especially during and after the Second World War.
DyFRA and the Golden Triangle
Links to articles, stories, television and radio programmes
The BBC's Countryfile comes down the Daffodil Way
4 April 2021
Ellie Harrison visits the 'Golden Triangle' in Gloucestershire to find out why the area is so famous for the wild daffodil. She takes a trip down memory lane with villagers who recall picking the daffs as children and how the flowers were sent by rail on the daffodil line to cities across the country. She discovers the difference between wild and cultivated daffodils and witnesses some of the finest medieval wall paintings in England.
Interview with Chris Bligh, DyFRA Project Director
1 March 2022
Chris walks with us around the Golden Triangle, talking about the it's fascinating history and the work of DyFRA in helping to restore and maintain the ancient woodlands, pastures and hedgerows.
Richard Mabey 'In the Wild' of the Golden Triangle, feature BBC Radio 4
3 July 2011
Wordsworth wrote his famous poem about them and they were once so plentiful that a special train service was employed to distribute them around the country...the wild daffodil is Richard Mabey's first choice of plant in his new series 'Mabey in the Wild'.
From an ancient wood in Suffolk where the wild daffodil grows in profusion, Richard tells the story of this plant - its natural history and the important part it still plays in the life of the villages of the 'Golden Triangle' in Gloucestershire.
The Acorn Harvest at Shaw Common
Our sessile oaks produce registered acorn seed of national and international importance. 2020 was a bumper or 'mast' year when we collected 56kgs of prime seed from the spectacular stands of sessile oak at Shaw Common.
To learn more about our work and how you can get involved, please contact either Chris or Tim:
The Hollies, Kempley, GL18 2BP
Baytons Farm, Gloucester Road, Upleadon, Gloucester GL18 1EH
Tim: 07468 528 080
Chris: 07974 974 862