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Destination Lydney Harbour

Lydney Coastal Community Team and Destination Lydney Harbour:

By working together in partnership, Forest of Dean District Council, Lydney Town Council and the Environment Agency secured £10,000 from the government to establish a Coastal Community Team. Lydney Coastal Community Team joined 115 other Coastal Community Teams in the UK and has been working hard to increase the tourism and recreational potential of Lydney Harbour. Having successfully completed the £2.1 million Coastal Community Fund improvements at Lydney Harbour and along the Harbour Road corridor in June 2023, the multi-agency team has been wound up.

Anyone seeking information relating to Lydney Harbour can find this at the following web address:

The regeneration project

Lydney Harbour underwent a £2.1 million regeneration, funded by the Coastal Community Fund. The main project aims were to create safe, attractive transport routes into Lydney Harbour and develop the area as a recreation and tourism destination.

The project is now concluded and has seen:

New cafe, visitor information hub and public toilets

The refurbishment of two historic buildings into a new Visitor Information Hub and toilets that are now open to the public along with a brand new café operated by local business Hips Social. The café, Hips Harbourside serves a variety of hot and cold drinks, cakes, toasties, soup and more.

During the café’s opening hours, the public toilets and visitor information hub will also be open to visitors.

Bespoke ornate railings near train station

The installation of bespoke ornate railings to complement the Cookson Terrace and Railway Terrace listed buildings on Harbour Road.

Landscape planting scheme  

150 trees have been planted along the harbour corridor to increase biodiversity and the appearance of the harbour approach with distinctive trees - Himalayan birch, field maple, hawthorn.

Improved wayfinding and heritage interpretation (signs, information boards)

New information boards around the harbour providing insights into the harbour’s heritage.

Public art trail and heritage interpretation artworks

Artists Denman + Gould have created a public art trail for Lydney Harbour. The From the Forest to the Sea artwork trail begins at the roundabout on the A48, continuing along the former railway line, finishing at the harbour itself at the site of coal tip number 9.

The permanent artworks have enhanced the visitor experience of the harbour, encouraging visitors to arrive by car, foot and cycle. The artworks will reflect the heavy industrial heritage of the Forest of Dean and the part the harbour played in the export and transportation of materials to far off places. Contemporary silhouettes of historical structures now lost to time will be reconstructed to allude to the rich industrial heritage of the site.

Check out a series of videos below which explore the power of public art, the inspiration behind the designs and the processes that went into creating the art trail.

The first construction, ‘Tower’, made of green oak, alludes to the timber cross-braced supports used in a range of local heavy industries, such as coal mining and railways, during the industrial revolution.

When visitors arrive at the harbour they will notice ‘Lookout’ and ‘Coal Arch’ silhouetted against the skyline. The two new sculptures stand in the footprints of previous structures seen in old photos taken during the harbour’s golden age. One was an octagonal white hut, and the other a black hut, which stood beside coal tip number 9. ‘Lookout’ has been made of blue green Forest of Dean pennant stone. In contrast, ‘Coal Arch’ has been made of timber which has been charred using a technique called Shou Sugi Ban, to resemble coal, historically one of the harbour’s main exports.

Along the walking trail between Lydney Railway Station and the harbour, visitors will find three playful, stacked sculptures that have been inspired by the railway that once ran along this path. Sleepers have been inscribed with the poetic names of Forest of Dean collieries, and the ships that used to dock at the harbour.

View our photo album of the art trail

Introduction to the art trail at Lydney Harbour

The inspirational industrial heritage behind the art trail

The materials and techniques used in the art trail

The arrival of the art trail

Coming next: 

Community boat building scheme

Lydney Skiff, our community boat building scheme, has been legally constituted as a Community Interest Company with an active group of directors. A suitable premises has now been found for the construction of a 22ft St Ayles skiff (rowing boat) by members of the community with many volunteers ready to get underway. We’ll let you know as soon as we can make a start. 

Harbour Road Improvements

As part of the project we are partnering with Gloucestershire County Council Highways who are leading on the installation of a new street-lit footpath along Harbour Road that runs from Lydney Train Station down to the privately-owned former Pine End Works. This will also see the resurfacing of the carriageway, repairs to the existing drainage system, adjustment of surface ironwork and the installation of new road markings.

Read further details of the road improvements

These improvements are necessary to create a safe pedestrian access link from Lydney town centre and train station through to the harbour area as a part of the Destination Lydney Harbour regeneration project.

The scheme will result in improved and safer non-motorised user access to the harbour area by providing a dedicated facility for pedestrians. In addition to this, a new speed limit will be introduced to reduce the vehicle speeds of the traffic which uses this stretch of carriageway.

The project is funded through the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Coastal Community Fund.

This scheme is part of a range of improvements to the area to drive growth, improve the experience for users of the harbour, and increase jobs and prosperity in the town. 

The works commenced on 6th June 2022 and are expected to be completed during winter 2022.

Due to the nature of the works and the local environment, the majority of works will be carried out using temporary two-way signals; with temporary overnight road closures being implemented as required to undertake resurfacing of the carriageway.  The traffic management is required to ensure that adequate health & safety is maintained for the contractor & for the travelling public.


If you have any questions about the highways maintenance work or need more information about them, please contact Gloucestershire Highways on 08000 514514 or email [email protected] 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are these improvements necessary?

These improvements are necessary to create a safe pedestrian access link from Lydney town centre and train station through to the harbour area as a part of the Destination Lydney Harbour regeneration project.

What is the total cost of this scheme?

The estimated cost of the scheme is approximately £1.5 million

Why can’t these funds be spent on routine maintenance, such as filling potholes?

The funds are for “Transformative Projects” to drive economic growth and development within the county. It will help facilitate improvements to transport infrastructure, business growth and remediation work to land so that it can be used for business use.

Will the council have to purchase land to build the scheme?

The scheme has involved agreement with third-party landowners to enable the widening and installation of the footway to take place. 

These works are going to disrupt my journey – what are you going to do to reduce this?

Our proposal is to undertake most of the works using two-way traffic signals. However, there will be occasions when full road closures will be necessary due to the work activity and to ensure the safety of site staff, these will be programmed for off-peak working hours to reduce impact where possible.

What is Gloucestershire County Council and what is their role?

Gloucestershire County Council is the Highway Authority for Gloucestershire.

Background on the project

The Lydney Coastal Community Team (LCCT) is an informal partnership made up of several bodies and individuals with a desire to see Lydney Harbour thrive. The team’s long term vision is taken from the Lydney Neighbourhood Development Plan: “The vision is to develop Lydney over the next 10 years and beyond as a thriving, prosperous, safe, integrated and attractive market town, serving its rural hinterland and as a centre from which to visit the area’s attractions.” 

The LCCT bid for funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Coastal Community-fund and in 2019 the ‘Destination Lydney Harbour’ (DLH) project received £2.1M. 

Background on Lydney Harbour itself

Lydney Harbour is much cherished and utilised, both by Lydney residents and visitors to the area. It is an important economic, recreational and historic asset to the community and is directly connected to the River Severn and Severn Estuary. The harbour and its environs are a Scheduled Monument which recognises the importance of the harbour and the trading activity which has taken place along the Severn Estuary since Roman times. Construction of a dock, the supporting tramway and Lydney canal took place during the 1800s to maximise the efficiency of transporting the coal and iron mined in the Forest of Dean.

Economic plans

Our ambition is to see a range of improvements to the docks and harbour in order to drive growth, improve the experience for users of the harbour, and increase jobs and prosperity in the town.