Demolition of the long-standing visitor centre at Sherwood Forest is “underway and going well”, the RSPB has confirmed.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds took over control of the visitor centre at the fabled forest last year, opening its new facility in August.
The demolition of the former site, which stood as a staple facility for guests visiting from around the world, is now being demolished as part of the forest “regeneration”.
Ross Frazer, RSPB project manager at Sherwood Forest, said the work needs to be done with extreme sensitivity to avoid damaging the nearby ancient oaks, many of which are more than 500 years old.
He said: “We have spent the early part of the year ensuring adequate protection for the trees and the ground in some parts of the site, so that they are not damaged during the work.
“This is not a case of demolishing the buildings with heavy equipment, but carefully taking the buildings down and removing them.
“It’s an exciting prospect, to be taking down concrete and taking up tarmac to allow nature back in – this doesn’t happen very often!”
The project is in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council, which has funded the new visitor centre and is promoting “returning the old site to nature”.
Councillor John Cottee, communities and place chairman, said: “This marks another chapter for this world-famous country park.
“The old visitor centre has been a long-standing fixture and certainly holds a lot of fond memories for many visitors, but the time has come for it to return back to nature.
“There has been a high level of expertise and planning involved to ensure this restoration work goes as smoothly as possible.”
Once cleared, the forest’s conservation team will then begin the task of restoring the site to nature, helping to create a further four hectares of forest for the public to explore, and restore important wildlife habitat.