Sustainable Stays: The Dome Garden, Forest of Dean, UK

Glamping is a great way for those who want to experience the great outdoors and feel a sense of community without “roughing it” as such. The Dome Garden, set in the midst of the ancient Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, is a glamping site featuring a set of eco-conscious, geodesic domes providing accommodation for small to large groups.

Providing a perfect pit stop to enjoy the woods, The Dome Garden is an idyllic location for families and parties looking for a green vacation. With the utmost respect for the surrounding environment, The Dome Garden owners have created a campsite with eco-friendly touches throughout – the roof of the main lodge is covered in solar panels which produce about 50% of electrical needs; and each self-contained dome has it’s own en-suite shower and toilet, with guests having to heat the water from a boiler in the back of the stove using logs that are harvested in the forest just yards from the site.

Everything at The Dome Garden has a local footprint as it were – paths at the campsite are built up on foundations of recycled glass which began life as the beer and wine bottles from a party back in 2010, and the kitchens and the fences are made from scrap offcuts from another sawmill just down the road.

According to The Dome Garden’s owner and founder Jonny Clothier the campsite has “included a number of sensible, mild green, environmental ideas throughout the site. Passive and practical solutions to a few simple things”.

It’s impossible to describe The Dome Garden, with its geodesic domes, without mentioning Cornwall’s Eden Project. Infact that is exactly what Jonny Clothier, the former TV producer and architect, had in mind when he created the campsite – a vision of his own mini-Eden project. One of the domes at The Dome Garden is even filled entirely with tropical plants.

The Dome Garden is an ideal location for families and groups who want to get in tune with nature within England’s oldest oak forest and embrace the forest’s history. A former royal hunting ground consisting of more than 40 miles of unspoilt woodland, The Forest of Dean became England’s first National Forest Park in the 1930s.

The Forest of Dean is a timeless landscape of woodlands, rivers, hills and valleys, lending itself to outdoor pursuits from walking and hiking to canoeing and cycling. That said there are many ways in which families and groups can enjoy adventures closeby.

Whether guests like hanging out with other folks or not, The Dome Garden has it all. There’s more secluded enclaves for guests who want more privacy. But there’s also a strong community vibe to the campsite. The Dome Garden also features a communal fire-pit and big wood-burning burning stove too, where guests can take part in weekly pizza-making classes while sharing stories, under the night sky, of myths and legends from the Forest of Dean.

The Dome Garden

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

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