Sherwood Forest’s Future – Consultation

A Happy New Year to all of our visitors and supporters – we look forward to welcoming you here in 2019, and sharing all of our exciting plans for the 12 months ahead!

Following the opening of our new visitor centre in August last year, it’s been a hectic time – we’ve been getting used to new ways of working, welcoming some new staff members and volunteers, and introducing all of our visitors to our new home too.

We’re looking forward to an equally busy year ahead, with some really enjoyable events,  exciting project work and further site development – which everyone gets to have a say in!

We’re keen to develop the way we share our Robin Hood stories with our visitors, and want to find new and innovative ways of doing this.  It’s a big and important job at Sherwood to continue the legend, and we want to do it in ways that our visitors find engaging and enjoyable.  So we’re asking for your input!

Please read below to find some FAQ’s about the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre, and how you can take part in our consultation.

Sherwood Forest & Robin Hood Consultation

How do you want to find out about Robin Hood when you visit – by reading panels around the visitor centre, or through live story-telling? Would you like to listen to legendary tales whilst you walk through the forest, or have an area of the site just dedicated to Robin? We want your visit to be legendary, whatever your age or interests.

As well as on-site consultation sessions (see our social media posts and events page for more details) we are asking people to fill in our online survey, so you can provide feedback from wherever you are.  We’ll be doing lots on this throughout the year, and updating you with the results we’re getting and how we’re putting that into action.

Please complete the survey below to give us your feedback and ideas on what you’d like to see happening at the centre and the forest going forward.

Click here to take part in the consultation

Scroll down to read the FAQ’s about the Visitor Centre and our future plans.

Sherwood Forest FAQ's

Why has the centre moved? 

The old centre was built within the Site of Special Scientific Interest, which is a government protection to ensure the ancient oaks and the rare creatures they support are kept safe. Several years ago Nottingham County Council was alerted by Natural England that it could not redevelop the old centre as the buildings and car park were having an impact on the forest. This is why the new centre and car park have been relocated outside the forest.

The old centre and buildings are being taken down and removed very sensitively, so none of the nearby trees are damaged by the work.  The project includes removing the old play area (the equipment is being donated to Edwinstowe Parish Council to use elsewhere) and taking up the old car park.  The site covers around 5 acres, in total, which will be restored to nature over the coming months and years.

What is happening now? 

The forest has lots of legal protections (it’s a National Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation!) so any changes need approval from the government advisory body, Natural England. This can be a slow process but is very necessary to make sure the forest stays healthy.

  • Forest signage
    The new directional signage now been signed off by Natural England and installation will begin after Christmas. All old signs will be removed and condensed in the new plan, reducing impact on the forest.
  • Accessible path to the Major Oak
    While the distance from the centre to the Major Oak remains nearly the same, we are very aware that the terrain is less accessible to those with mobility problems. The design for the centre includes a new path, however, this will need permission and we don’t currently have a timeline. Please be assured that it is on the agenda to address, we hope to be able to provide more information soon.
  • Events
    We are currently developing next year’s event plan, there are lots of old favourites and a few new curveballs.  Important dates for your diary:
    Major Oak Woodland Festival: 8th & 9th June
    Robin Hood Festival: 5th—11th August

What next?

The opening of the new visitor centre is just the beginning of our journey. We’re a small team but have big dreams about bringing Sherwood’s stories and legends alive in   innovative ways. We have lots of ideas but want this to be a community space so please share what YOU want to see.

As a charity it takes time for us to raise the money for these projects. Most of our funds come through regular  membership donations and the work we do on site. The money we raise in the centre looks after the forest, enables development and makes sure Sherwood thrives for future generations.

One thing we do know is that Sherwood needs people to bring it alive, there are lots of ways you can get involved…

How do I get involved? 

The most direct way you can get involved is to volunteer! The RSPB has more than 12,000 volunteers and we couldn’t run without their contribution. Just a taster of roles at Sherwood:

  • Costumed guide
  • Welcome crew
  • Event crew
  • Admin
  • Quiz trail writer
  • Practical conservation
  • Guided walks
  • Site maintenance
  • Seamstress

Becoming a member of the RSPB is a really valuable way to support the visitor centre. Your monthly donation will help us look after the forest and carry out conservation work around the country. As a thank you for this support you’ll get free parking here and at all RSPB reserves.

You can also support us by visiting the centre, attending events and giving us your feedback and ideas!

The Robin Hood consultation process will be open throughout Spring 2019, but following this you can always give your feedback via one of our satisfaction surveys in the centre!