Blogger, A level student, budding journalist, nature-lover and all-round busy teen, Hannah Roe, has been visiting Sherwood Forest with her parents since she was a child, so she knows the place extremely well.
When she was recently commissioned to write an article for RSPB magazine Wingbeat, about our plans for her beloved forest, she was as keen as anyone to make sure Sherwood was in the best possible hands and getting the protection and care it needed.
She kindly took the time after her visit to share what she found out in her latest blog post.
“With over 1500 years of history, Sherwood Forest is no stranger to change.
The ownership of an ancient forest however, is no mean feat, and the RSPB has a lot of work on their hands to make sure that the legend of Robin Hood and the wildlife of Sherwood is conserved for the future.
With such an undertaking, an initial reaction might be concern, that the RSPB won’t be able to manage all elements of Sherwood, in this complex and unique situation – but having visited the Sherwood project, I can wholeheartedly report that this is not the case. Thankfully.
The RSPB seems to have the situation well in hand, and even has plans to develop Sherwood further.
Many locals, myself included, were very worried when we heard about the many different plans for Sherwood.
I’ve been going to Sherwood since I was two, and the thought that this forest would be cut down or fenced off was a very scary thing for everyone.
Luckily, following bids from a theme park and other businesses that would ruin the peace of this wonderful landscape, the RSPB won out, and in partnership with the county council, Sherwood Forest Trust, Thoresby Estate and the Woodland Trust, they are taking over the management of Sherwood. There is a lot to do, but the RSPB has exciting plans for every part of this wonderful forest.
The wildlife, a key element of Sherwood, is not a problem for the RSPB, who already dedicate man power and most of their annual expenditure to its conservation.
Robin Hood however, is a completely unique feature of Sherwood, and many of the 350,000 who visit the forest every year – that’s more than 200,000 higher than the next popular reserve – are drawn by the legend. So he needs some serious consideration. But again the RSPB have everything under control, and have enlisted expert help from many different quarters to help bring the legend to life.
RPSB has also built a brand new visitor centre, which includes a cafe and shop, which I saw when I went to look round the site. It already looks fantastic.
When it opens later this summer, it will give people what they need to experience this forest to the full.
I was also very impressed by the building that the RPSB has been refurbishing for school visits, so that local children can come and learn about their forest.
The local people in fact are a huge consideration for Sherwood, and the RSPB intends to revitalise the local economy by bringing more people to Sherwood and promoting local businesses which, as a local myself, I think will be wonderful for towns and villages around Sherwood.
Everything I saw on the day I visited, impressed me immensely and convinced me that the RSPB are the people for the job.
The dedicated team of full time employees, builders, and volunteers are all thrilled to have the opportunity to work in such a wonderful place and for such a good cause.
I was amazed to find out that the volunteers I spoke to are all receiving Robin Hood training. From learning about long bows to local history society involvement, every element of Sherwood forest has been fully embraced by the RSPB, and I look forward to spending many more days in Sherwood, safe in the knowledge that this wonderful wood is protected for the future.”
Our huge thanks to Hannah for taking the time to visit Sherwood and then share her thoughts with us in such a well-written piece. We look forward to seeing you again very soon!