Plans unveiled for new Sherwood Forest visitor centre

Drop in session at Edwinstowe Cricket Club to unveil new Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre concept
Drop in session at Edwinstowe Cricket Club to unveil new Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre concept

People were invited to views the plans for the proposed £5.3 million new visitor centre at Sherwood Forest.

The RSPB-led consortium hosted a drop-in session to showcase plans for the centre at Forest Corner.

A full consultation as part of the Newark and Sherwood District Council’s planning process will take place at a later date this summer.

If approved, the proposed work would see a more modern facility built at a new site close to Edwinstowe at Forest Corner.

This would be followed by the removal of the current 1970’s visitor centre, and that site would then be returned to nature.

Sherwood Forest Fun Park, a fairground currently based at Forest Corner, would also move to an alternative location at Naish’s Field, on land owned by Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC).

Ross Frazer, RSPB Project Manager, said: “We are very excited about this project and the opportunities it will give us to further promote Robin Hood, continue to protect local wildlife, and continue to preserve this historic country park for future generations.”

Adrian Wilson, from Friends of Sherwood Forest, said: “I’m disappointed it’s taken two years for the RSPB to realise it’s an important point in village life.

“It’s alarming to see that the new set of plans have created more problems for themselves, the environment and the community.

“The plans have reduced the car park space. On a busy winter weekend visitors can take up to 252 spaces. I don’t know how they expect to cope during the summer. There will be an overflow car park on Naish’s Field.

“A lot of what they’re doing is going to put people off.

“They are spending all this money on a new visitor centre and car park but if the building doesn’t look very good they are never going to make any money.

“There is very little to be enthusiastic about. I wish it could be different.”

The RSPB-led consortium will also have the plans on display for public view during the Robin Hood Festival, from August 1, to 7.

Nottinghamshire County Council hopes the RSPB will design and build the new centre and manage Sherwood Forest Country Park from early 2018. The current visitor centre will remain open until then.