The Verderers And Their Role

There are four Verderers for the Forest of Dean - just as there have been for at least seven centuries.

The qualification for a Verderer continues by custom - there are no official conditions or regulations. A qualification is to own land within or near the Forest, have good health and be free from other engrossing duties. Verderers are elected for life; unless removed by the sovereign because they were incapacitated by age or illness, or by reason of insufficient qualification. They receive no fee, salary or perquisite ? anciently it was a buck and a doe annually ( not taken since the nineteenth century). They cannot be put on assizes or juries, nor act as coroners.

The Verderers now usually meet four times a year when they consider issues of relevance to the vert ( the woodlands and open lands) and venison ( the deer) within the Statutory Forest of Dean (see map). They advise the Deputy Surveyor and his staff on topical issues and also make representations to other administering bodies on issues affecting their interests. The Verderers also oversee sheep grazing by being represented on the multi-agency sheep liaison group.

Important legislation associated with the fulfilment of their role includes:

  • The Dean Forest (Timber) Act 1808
  • The Wildlife Creatures and Forest Laws Act 1971
  • The Forestry Act 1981

The Verderers are:

R.W.Jenkins Esq. JP

Elected 24th July 1992

Mr Jenkins is managing director of a local automotive business and has been actively involved in serving the Forest, most recently through his work as a magistrate. He lives in Christchurch.

M.Bent Esq.

Elected 1st December 2009

Mr Bent is a former carpenter and freeminer and has a strong interest in the heritage of the Dean. He is well known for the books he has written, his music and his campaigning for local causes. He is an active resident of Ruardean Hill.

Ian J Standing BDS MA MUSMS Dip

Elected 29th November 2011

Mr Standing is a past director of the Dean Heritage Museum. His research and publications have included the Forest’s veteran trees and many aspects of its woodland and industrial history. He is an active campaigner to keep the Forest in public ownership

Richard Gough Daniels MBE

Elected 15th February 2017

Mr Daniels is an active Freeminer and summer tour guide at Hopewell Colliery. He is Chairman of the Royal Forest of Dean Freeminers Association and an active campaigner for keeping the Forest in public ownership. He takes a keen interest in the heritage, history and dialect spoken in the Forest. In 2015, he was awarded an MBE for services to the Forest of Dean and to forestry throughout the UK.

The Verderers are serviced by a steward who administers the correspondence, agendas and minutes. The steward since 1987 is Kieron P. Griffin a solicitor who practised in Gloucester until his retirement in July 2017.

Any correspondence should be addressed to :

The Steward
H.M. Verderers for the Forest of Dean
7 Hadfield Close Staunton
Gloucestershire GL19 3QY

Or by email to