The Sherwood Forest Trust – the only charity entirely focussed on the protection, preservation and promotion of Sherwood Forest – is 25 years old. The Edwinstowe-based charity plans a year-long celebration of what it has achieved and what it intends to do for the next quarter of a century.
The Sherwood Forest Trust is also celebrating being one of the first environmental projects awarded a grant from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund.
Terry Yates, Chairman of the trust said: “It’s been a real privilege to be chairman of the trust for the past 10 years. Though we’re a small charity, we have built up an enviable reputation for the range and quality of the work that we do for nature and the support we’ve given to private sector companies and local authorities, but mainly local community organisations. The gist of what we do is in our name – people trust us!
“But the birthday celebration isn’t all about our past. We have our sights on the future. In 2021, we’re launching a new campaign to do even more sustainable conservation work, community engagement, woodland and heathland restoration. In a time of climate extremes and huge pressures on our environment and livelihoods, we need to be working even harder to redress the imbalance of nature.”
This new £182,500 Green Recovery Challenge Fund grant will boost their project ‘Sherwood Forest’s Truths – Woods, Heathlands and People’ and is focussed on the restoration of lowland heathlands, the creation of a new afforestation toolkit, planting new trees and creating woodlands plus increased community engagement with nature.
Chief Executive Patrick Candler explains: “Since 1995, when the then Secretary of State for the Environment, the Rt Hon John Gummer, let loose an arrow to open the trust, we’ve achieved major successes bringing millions of pounds into the Sherwood area, for the benefit of wildlife and people.”
Key past projects carried out by Sherwood Forest Trust include:
- The first Lottery funded Landscape Partnership Scheme (LPS) from 2002 to 2007 – worth £5.5m
- A TV campaign to ‘Discover King John’s Palace’ (2014) at King’s Clipstone
- Celebrating the 800th anniversaries of the sealing of the Magna Carta in 2015, and the Forest Charter in 2017
- Planting thousands of trees all over Sherwood, working with schools and local communities
- Restoration of hedgerows and lowland heathlands such as Sherwood Heath (which won a national Green Flag award) and Oak Tree Heath
- Organising The Major Oak Woodland Festival – the biggest of its kind in the county
- Recent creation of the Mayflower 400 Oaks Pilgrim Plantation in Bassetlaw
- Launching the ‘Spirit of Sherwood’ local heritage project, to engage local people with the WWII history of Sherwood Forest.
Despite a difficult year, affected by restrictions on work, events and fundraising, the trust collected more than 5,000 acorns in a ‘mast’ year for their Sherwood Seed Bank. These are all now in propagation trays ready to grow and be planted out a year from now – when hopefully COVID will be history.
They’re also working with a local school to plant fruit trees in the school garden, while on their culture and history side, their latest heritage project ‘Spirit of Wartime Sherwood’ recently allowed two classes from a Mansfield school to experience a WWII Evacuees Day – reliving how wartime children from the cities were relocated
Become a ‘Sherwood Supporter’ and make a donation to support the trust’s mission at www.sherwoodforest.org.uk.