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Volunteers wanted to wear Robin Hood outfits at visitor centre

Professional costumier Anne Ryan speaking to some of the sewing volunteers about the design of a tunic.
Professional costumier Anne Ryan speaking to some of the sewing volunteers about the design of a tunic.

The team set to run the new visitor centre at Sherwood Forest when it opens this summer are looking for some extra-special volunteers who are prepared to look the part.

The volunteers will wear medieval costumes throughout the forest, giving visitors a taste of what life would have been like in Robin Hood’s day.

“We want to tell our visitors the wonderful stories of Sherwood Forest in new and innovative ways,” said volunteer development officer Nadia Archer. “So we need some wonderful people to help us to do this.

“As a volunteer, you will be one of our visitor guides in the forest. You’ll be dressed in authentic costume, dating back to medieval times, and share stories with the public about a range of subjects, from the legend of Robin Hood to the nature that thrives here.

“We are not looking for actors or entertainers, but people who have a passion for Sherwood Forest, enjoy telling a good tale and love to work with people.”

The outfits have been made by another set of volunteers at a series of workshops led by professional costumier Anne Ryan, from Nottingham.

More than 30 people, ranging from students to amateur dress-makers with an interest in sewing, built up an entire wardrobe.

Anne, who ran her own historical costume company for more than 30 years, has provided outfits for films, theatre, museums and exhibitions.

She said: “Sherwood Forest is visited by people from around the world, so I wanted to make sure we did it right.

“I used my knowledge of clothing from Robin Hood’s time, combined with some practical elements that needed to be considered because people will be wearing it throughout the year.

“There are a couple of adaptations. For instance, we thought a modern-day man might not be so comfortable with the leggings worn at that time, which were more like tights, so we’ve made them a little less fitted.”

An event to show off the costumes and to attract volunteers was held on Bank Holiday Monday last month. The visitor centre will be up and running in time for the 34th Robin Hood Festival from August 27 to September 2.