I’ve lived in the Forest all my life; born and bred in Cinderford. I heard about the Trail going in back in 1986, and saw the Chair in all its glory then. There was nothing around it then, no trees, just barren land. You could see it from far away. I took photos, in colour and in black and white and I walked all of the Trail and took photos of some of the other pieces too – Melissa’s Swing and Iron Road, with its carved sleepers from the London underground made out of Eucalyptus.
It all looks very different now. I still go every now and then and sometimes I take my grandsons. One of my grandsons is turning 7 soon and I’ll take him for a walk there when I next see him. We usually walk up to the Chair, it’s such a focal point, so grand. It’s going to be missed by lots of people, but then it’s amazing it has lasted as long as it has!
I also do some voluntary work for the Forest’s ‘Dean Green Team’. Once a week we meet up, and we either do work for the Forestry Commission or the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. We work all over the forest doing whatever is needed. There is so much that needs doing, and it’s good to give something back.
Photos: 1-3: 1986, 4-5: 2015.
For more on the Dean Green Team:http://www.deangreenteam.co.uk/