VOLUNTEERS that run a unique outdoor venue in the Forest were “very grateful” to land a prestigious Golden Glove award recently - though not for their clean sheets.

The Golden Glove is more commonly associated with the best goalie at the end of a football tournament, but this one (pictured, below) was awarded to the Friends of Scarr Bandstand, who manage the historic amphitheatre between Coleford and Sling, for their “amazing” efforts in 2023.

It is also known as the Forestry England National Volunteer Award, which is given annually to selected groups for their voluntary work on the public forest estate.

The award recognises the work the group has carried out this year to organise and host an eclectic programme of music and theatre performances this summer.

Forestry England's Tamsin Sagar presents the award to Friends of Scarr Bandstand Chair Mike Butler (FOSB)

The win is all the more special considering this season nearly didn’t happen for the Friends, as a grant application for a temporary roof, necessary to shelter equipment when it rains, was unexpectedly rejected.

But thankfully local firm Wyedean Scaffolding, which provides the roof, kindly offered it to them free of charge.

Tamsin Sagar, Forestry England’s Community Ranger in the Forest of Dean said; “I nominated Alison Collison (Secretary) and the Friends organisation to highlight all the amazing voluntary work that Alison and the group do throughout the year, but especially during the summer to ensure a successful season of events.

“The number of hours put in are incredible which is reflected by the success of the Bandstand”.

The nomination also described how Friends of Scarr Bandstand, in partnership with Forestry England and West Dean Parish Council, saved the bandstand from demolition and restored it to become the thriving community asset it is now.

Mike Butler, Chair of the Friends, said the award further strengthens their relationship with Forestry England, with the partners set to work together on site improvements in the near future.

Mike said: “The Friends are very grateful for this award as it demonstrates our continuing and developing partnership with Forestry England as we push on with our plans for a new permanent canopy for the bandstand’.

This season at Scarr featured performances from Drybrook Male Voice Choir and the Springfield Singers, several Forest brass bands and a varied ‘Musical Extravaganza’; as well as theatre productions from The Pantaloons and Jenny Wren.