The white stag appears several times in British history and mythology. King Arthur once tried, and failed, to catch one. Ancient Britons considered them to be messengers from the otherworld, and the appearance of a white stag signalled that it was time for the knights of the kingdom to pursue a quest.

But now one has been spotted in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. Photographer Ken Grindle, who has been photographing wildlife in the forest for six years, has managed to take a photo of one. Seeing one brings good luck.

The Forest of Dean is thought to have a variety of strange creatures including wild boar and big cats.

Pictured: Mythical white stag found in the forests of Gloucestershire

By Daily Mail Reporter
06th December 2009

White stags have long been associated with mythology and legend, an elusive yet magnificent beast.

King Arthur was left frustrated by his attempts to capture one, as were the Kings and Queens of Narnia, who chased the creature through the woods and found themselves tumbling out of a wardrobe.

But photographer Ken Grindle has managed to get a little bit closer, taking this picture of the animal in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire.

The White Stag was photographed by amateur photographer Ken Grindle near forests in Lydney, Gloucestershire

The majestic wild animal - long associated with mystery and good luck - was filmed by the wildlife enthusiast.

Ken, 66, has been filming and photographing wildlife in the area for the past six years - but had never seen a white stag.

'I was very surprised to see it,' he said.

'I was camped in a shelter and was really fortunate. It just strolled right in front of me and calmly wandered around.

The Forest of Dean

The Forest of Dean covers 42.5 sq miles and was the second largest Crown forest after the New Forest. A Crown forest was a forest where the Monarch could hunt. In 370, the Romans built a temple to the British god Nodens in the forest. After the Conquest of 1066, the Normans used the forest as their personal hunting ground, keeping it stocked with wild boar and deer. In 1296, miners from the area were recruited by King Edward I to fight the Scots. In June 1831, the Dean Forest Riots took place. In 1808, an area of the forest was enclosed to provide timber for the Royal Navy. Because the poverty stricken foresters were unable to hunt or take wood in the enclosed area, their plight became worse. So, in 1831, a group of 100 foresters decided to demolish the enclosure. Eventually, their numbers grew to 2000, but a squadron of soldiers eventually brought order. The leader of the riots was transported to the British penal colony of Australia. Harry Potter author J.K Rowling lived in the forest from 1974 to 1983, and so did Dick Whittington (1354-1423), who later became Lord Mayor of the City of London.

'He is a beautiful creature and it's really nice to be able to show people who perhaps can't make it into woodland what beautiful animals roam out there.

'I was lucky to be able to get some footage of it as well as the battery on my camera was running out.

'I wasn't sure I'd actually got it until I got home.

'I take the pictures to share with everyone as a lot of people can't get out into the woods to see this.'

The Forest of Dean is thought to be home to an array of unusual and wild creatures including wild boar, big cats and white stags.

Retired builder Ken added: 'There's a lot of talk about big cats in the Forest and that really would be something to see.

'I managed to stand my ground when some wild boar came out into the path in front of me but it might be a bit different if I saw a big cat.'