Nottinghamshire-based conservation charity, The Sherwood Forest Trust, has its sights set on an exciting 2021 after new hires, significant funding and a string of new projects have heralded an exciting first quarter of this year.
The Trust, like many, felt the effects of the pandemic in 2020, but has kickstarted this year with a number of positive developments – which is all the more special, as it is celebrating 25 years of working for Sherwood.
The first is the election of a new chairman, Andy Statham, who takes over from former chairman, Terry Yates, after 10 years’ service. The Trust has also appointed three new members of staff – Matt Smith as Conservation Manager, Emma Leverseidge as Community Conservation Officer, and Katie Doull as Nature Volunteer Coordinator. These new hires will allow the charity to widen its reach and provide more projects to the benefit of its local communities.
Reflecting on his appointment as chairman, Andy said: “I would first like to place on record my sincere thanks and best wishes on behalf of the team to Terry for all of his hard work over the past decade. He has put fantastic foundations in place for us to continue to succeed and we can certainly build on those over the coming years.”
The Trust also recently received the news that it was the only environmental charity in Nottinghamshire to secure funding from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund – enabling the team to undertake a wide range of new environmental, conservation and community-based projects. These include restoring lowland heathland sites at Sherwood Heath, Oak Tree Heath and The Neutral Ground at other sites.
The charity is also planning to work with local communities to improve the environment and undertake new community tree planting initiatives. More than 15,000 trees are expected to be planted in 2021 alone, alongside setting up a new Community Tree Nursery in partnership with the local CIC, Feel Good Gardens.
Heritage Tree Planting Event
The Trust kickstarted its first project in 2021 in May at St Mary’s Churchyard in Edwinstowe. Children from local primary schools, St Mary’s CofE and King Edwin, were invited to attend. They were also asked to take part in a traditional Japanese craft called ‘Hapa Zome’ (meaning ‘leaf dye’), followed by the planting of a Paul’s Scarlet Hawthorn tree and finally, a special guest visit from Robin Hood himself.
The Trust is helping deliver the Miner2Major Heritage Trees Project and is hosting 10 community tree planting events throughout the diverse landscape of the former Royal Hunting Forest and North Nottinghamshire coalfields.
The Hawthorn tree, also dubbed the ‘May Tree’, was chosen as a traditional symbol of spring. As the ancestor of the Maypole, its leaves and flowers are also typically used in May Day celebrations for garlands.