Sherwood to host sensory walk for blind and partially sighted visitors

Blind and partially sighted people are to be given a sensory tour of Sherwood Forest this weekend (Saturday 26th March).

The event has been made possible by a collaboration between the Royal National Institute of Blind People and the Visitor Experience team at RSPB Sherwood Forest.

Five participants will be given a guided walk to help them to fully enjoy the sounds, smells and textures of the woodland, which is home to one of Europe’s largest collections of ancient oak trees.

Andy West, Visitor Experience Officer at RSPB Sherwood Forest, said: “We are delighted we’ve been able to organise this event with RNIB.

“Being in the forest is about so much more than what we can see. The sounds of the birds and the wind through the branches, the smell of trees and plants, especially in spring time, and the texture of the tree bark and leaves are part of the whole experience.

“We had a trial tour just before Christmas and it was a real success with participants, so it’s great to be running this tour once again.”

Matthew Trickett, Community Connection Co-ordinator at RNIB, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for our customers to experience nature in a way that is appropriate to their needs.

“The RSPB has gone to great lengths to make this experience as accessible and as stimulating as possible and it’s to their credit that they have done that.

“Moving forward we hope that this collaboration continues and our customers get to experience the unique environment of Sherwood Forest through the changing seasons.

Watch a video of Matthew talking about the trial tour

In April, the RSPB will also host a trial tour of the forest for a group of deaf and hard of hearing visitors, with a British Sign Language interpreter accompanying the party and the expert tour guide.

The forest has also recently hosted a tour in conjunction with District Council for families with refugee status who have settled in the Newark and Sherwood area in conjunction with the District Council.

Andy West said: “Sherwood is such an iconic place for lots of different reasons. Its name and legends are known all over the world.

“It’s vital that we make it as accessible as possible to everyone who wants to learn more about its history and its wildlife. That’s why running these sensory guided walks is so important.”

Future events will be advertised on the RSPB Sherwood Forest website and via its social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.

To find out more about all events and accessibility at RSPB Sherwood Forest, visit visitsherwood.co.uk