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Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve

Free access to Sherwood

There will still be free public access to Sherwood Forest and Nottinghamshire County Council will continue to manage the Forest.

Special Area of Conservation

Sherwood is not only the home of Robin Hood it is also home to the largest concentration of ancient oak trees in Europe. The forest has received the highest level of European designation as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), is as ecologically important as the tropical rainforests and it's on our doorstep.

As well as descendents of the same deer that Robin Hood is reputed to have 'poached' from the royal forest, Sherwood's unique mosaic of habitats support some of the rarest species of native bird, bats, bugs and beetles and is home to equally ancient bee colonies that make natural hives in hollow cavities in the trunks of the ancient oaks.

Protecting the Forest

Nottinghamshire County Council will continue to manage the Forest. Working alongside Discovery Attractions we will aim to improve public appreciation of the forest and its environment, reduce risk to ancient woodland, safeguard important wildlife sites and demonstrate best practice in building techniques.

Together with Discovery Attractions and other partners, the Council will strike a balance between protecting the fragile ecology of Sherwood's ancient core while at the same time letting visitors get closer to nature and experience more of Sherwood's natural and historical assets.

In moving Sherwood's current visitor facilities, inappropriately located in the most ecologically sensitive area of the forest, we hope to rejuvenate the Forest for future generations to enjoy.

A woodland/biodiversity management plan will be developed covering the whole Discovery Attractions site. This will include targets and actions for the onsite green assets and also for species the new habitats will attract. The woodland/biodiversity management plan will also integrate with the wider management plans for the National Nature Reserve and SAC.

Visitors to the forest will be encouraged to enjoy the forest while understanding the need for ecological and environmental conservation. Woodland walks, wildlife interpretation sessions and general information about the local and regional attractions will be available.

Free access to the forest will be via a footbridge from the courtyard entrance designed as a gateway to give a real sense of arrival and anticipation. Access to the forest will be fully Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant and suitable for pushchairs and buggies.

Together, we aim to enhance the protection and conservation management of the Forest and its habitats. In addition, the new facilities and its landscape will become a positive contribution to the landscape, its biodiversity and green infrastructure. Discovery Attractions will support all ecological and environmental initiatives to help preserve and enhance the development and protection of the flora and fauna, wildlife and existing environment.

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