Forest of Dean Hidden Heritage app

The Forest of Dean’s heritage is no longer a fading memory.

Through the power of amazing imagery, the Hidden Heritage of the Dean iOS and Android app reveals the area’s rich industrial past that was in danger of being lost forever.

In 2015 Audio Trails was commissioned by a group of passionate local historians with a life-long love of the area’s gritty past to develop an app. Bob Smith was one of those Foresters,

“As an eight year old I used to wonder around the Forest looking for signs of its mining and rail past. I felt strongly for the last 20 years that our real heritage was being obliterated, hidden and lost in pursuit of the Forest being turned into an adventure park.”

One of 30 animated gifs in the Hidden Heritage app showing how the Forest of Dean has changed since its industrial days

With the help of an interactive 1920s Ordnance Survey map, the GPS-triggered app guides visitors along the Forest of Dean’s ‘Family cycle trail’ – the former Severn and Wye steam Railway. There are 30 points of interest to explore. Each place of interest page is populated with stunning, automatically fading images that transition perfectly from historic photos (some dating back 120 years) to the modern scene today. See how the coal mines, quarries and railway once looked in this now idyllic setting. The iOS and Android apps were developed by Audio Trails for a passionate local community group.

Hidden Heritage of the Dean app iOS screenshots -Forest of Dean
Hidden Heritage of the Dean app iOS screenshots -Forest of Dean


The HLF-funded Forester’s Forest Landscape Partnership scheme helped to fund the project. Here’s some feedback we’ve had since launch:

“Fantastic app, thank you…the fading in and out of the photos is very fascinating.” Helen

“This is fascinating. Me and my 8 year old stared at these photos all morning, we are really enjoying this app.” Amy

“Brilliant app thanks” Scott

“Thank you. Amazing app. Really enjoying it.” Tim

“Great app and clearly the product of much hard work.” Angela


download-on-appstore icon

download-on-google-play badge



The Hidden Heritage of the Dean app is powered by our GPS-triggered Places and Trails app software.