Early birds, late night bats and busy bees in May

May starts early at RSPB Sherwood Forest. Very early.

In fact, we’ll be setting out at 4.30am on Bank Holiday Monday (May 1st) to experience the incredible sound of the dawn chorus.

Leading the way will be RSPB Ambassador Indy Kiemel-Greene, whose bird knowledge will help identify the calls visitors will hear as they enjoy the sunrise over the woodland.

It’s a great way to get one step ahead (or several thousand steps if you book on the walk) in the run-up to for International Dawn Chorus Day (Sunday 7th May).

Booking is essential. Tickets are just £7.50 (£6 for RSPB members).

To book, go here. 

Before all that though, we’ve got a weekend of canine capers with the Tailwaggers Dog Display Team (29th-30th April) who will be running agility courses and fancy dress competitions that you can enter your own pooch in.

On Monday 1st May, there will be traditional May Day music and dance at Sherwood Forest with the Bourne Borderers and Duke’s Dandy morris dancing groups, the Feet First American clog dancers and the U3A recorder group. There’ll also be some Medieval justice handed down by the Sheriff of Nottingham himself down at the Major Oak.

On Sunday 7th May, it’s Coronation Weekend and we’ll be celebrating that and VE Day with the return of Nottinghamshire Band of the Royal Engineers, Dukeries Ukeries and the Major Oak Pop Choir to perform in the Visitor Centre amphitheatre. It’s a free event too.

Later in the month we go on the trail of the redstart. This striking migratory bird is a regular visitor to Sherwood as it returns to British shores from Africa to breed.

Our Redstart Ramble heads out at 9am on Saturday 13th May. Tickets are again £7.50 (£6 for RSPB members).

Again, booking is essential and can be done via this link. 

In the evening, we switch from birds to bats with the Nottinghamshire Bat Group. There’ll be a fascinating talk about this fabulous winged mammal before you take a night time walk into the forest to locate them with a bat detector.

The walk costs £15 (£12 for RSPB members) and you can book your place here.

Then on Saturday 20th May, we’re all about those perfect pollinators for World Bee Day.

Artist Sarah Brabbin, a British Art Prize nominee will be leading a ceramics workshop where you can make your own bee sculpture. The workshop is ideal for adults and children aged eight years and above.

The session costs £25 per person (£20 for RSPB members).

Booking is required and can be done here

Did you know that mead is made from honey? And who is the biggest fan of a flagon of mead? Why, Friar Tuck, course.

So, who better to lead a guided walk all about an appreciation of bees than the jovial holy man, himself?

The Friar’s Frolic sallies forth at 2pm. Tickets cost just £7.50 (£6 RSPB members).

Book here.

We finish the month on another Bank Holiday Weekend and the Sheriff of Nottingham will be here on Saturday 27th May for another of his storytelling tours revealing the legends of Robin Hood. Tickets for this are just £5 (£4 RSPB members).

Book here.