Parkend village is a vibrant community within the forested area of the Forest of Dean district. The village is spread over a large area including extensive open spaces, with the central part of the village set around two sides of the cricket field. The village contains one Grade 2 listed building (currently a field studies centre), a wide range of building styles from old stone cottages to modern houses, older and modern industrial units and everything in between.
Community activities such as cricket, amateur dramatics and a silver band play an important role in village life and there is a well attended annual carnival. The village’s facilities include a primary school, memorial hall, post office, village shop and cafe, two pubs and a third outside the village. Places of worship include a church, Baptist chapel and Kingdom Hall. Although two busy roads crossing the Forest pass through the village, public transport is limited.
The greater Parkend area includes a significant part of the statutory forest with many of the Forest of Dean's major visitor attractions. Whitemead Park, a large holiday centre is on the edge of the village and there are many other places visitors can stay in the village in a range of accommodation. Dean Forest Cycles, a bike hire shop and cafe, and Dean Forest Railway are popular attractions in the village. Within the greater Parkend area are Nags Head RSPB nature reserve, Cannop Ponds, Speech House and the Arboretum, Mallards Pike, Go Ape, and New Fancy View, all popular attractions. The forest environment with its open access and rich wildlife provide a much valued resource for locals and visitors alike.
Historically Parkend had industries typical of the area and extensive railway sidings, which have left their mark on the landscape. There are now a number of businesses in Parkend which serve both the local and wider community and provide employment. These include motor vehicle repairs, a field studies centre, a kick boxing academy and a caravan sales business. Several businesses have international links, including International Timber and Mary Rose Young pottery.