So now it’s official …
Naturalist and TV presenter Mike Dilger brought enthusiasm, passion and a great deal of humour to events when he officially opened our new visitor centre this month – all things we treasure here at Sherwood!
The One Show’s wildlife presenter recalled his time at the University of Nottingham, as well as working at Sherwood as a volunteer after graduation, before unveiling a sculpture of the green man, along with Nottinghamshire County Council leader, Councillor Kay Cutts.
He talked about the importance of this legend, which is often linked to Robin Hood, and why the wildlife here makes Sherwood such a special landscape.
Around 200 guests, including partners and funders, Nottinghamshire County Council, Sherwood Forest Trust, Thoresby Estate, The Woodland Trust and D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership joined companies who had worked on the building as well as local dignitaries, business people, tourism leaders, neighbouring visitor sites and a host of stakeholders to celebrate the opening.
Prior to the unveiling, they had been welcomed to the event by Colonel Tim Richmond OBE, the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, and treated to songs from the Major Oak Pop choir, speeches from the RSPB’s chief executive, Mike Clarke, Cllr Cutts, and Emma Marsh, Midlands regional director, as well as a rousing welcome from Robin Hood!
We were also joined by Phil Rose, best known for his role as Friar Tuck in the TV series Robin of Sherwood, who, along with Robin Hood, managed to make it on to a lot of selfies during the day!
The reserve opened to the public in mid-August, and welcomed around 40,000 in its second week of operation with the Robin Hood Festival. This was our first chance to officially celebrate with everyone who had helped to make it happen, including our Woodheads, the local contractors who built the centre, and architects JDDK, as well as the creative design agencies who helped breathe life into the building, and Marshalls, who kindly supplied the paving around the centre.