In the Forest of Dean, there are rights bestowed to those that are born there.  If you have sheep, since Norman time you have been able to turn your sheep out to graze within the boundary of the Hundred of St. Briavels. Those that have these rights and exercise them are called sheep badgers. They can also let their pigs root up acorns from the oak trees in the forest.

If you have worked in a mine for a year and a day in the forest, you can make your own mine, as in dig a tunnel and start mining. There are a few left today and they sometimes sell to the public. One is open to visit,  Hopewell Colliery.

“All male* persons born or hereafter to be born and abiding within the said Hundred of St Briavels, of the age of twenty one years and upwards, who shall have worked a year and a day in a coal or iron mine within the said Hundred of St Briavels, shall be deemed and taken to be Free Miners.” extract from Dean Forest (Mines) Act 1838.http://www.clearwellcaves.com/freemining.html

There are not many people being born in the Forest of Dean, now as there is no hospital in the forest.

Writing Tasks
You are one of the last people born in the Forest of Dean. Free write.(15-20 minutes).

Write a poem about starting your own mine or exercising your grazing rights.(15-20 minutes).

Happy Writing!

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