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Champions of Sherwood - Restoring Sherwood Forest's Legendary Landscape

Champions of Sherwood

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust's vision for a Living Landscape in Sherwood which will be delivered by restoring, recreating and reconnecting wildlife-rich spaces.

Having championed the protection and restoration of Sherwood Forest for over 40 years, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has an ambitious long-term vision is for the Sherwood Forest

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is committed to protecting and enhancing the remaining areas of Sherwood's forest and heathland but with key areas of the Forest still under threat, efforts to safeguard the future Sherwood Forest need new investment

Alongside efforts to protect the valuable remaining areas of woodland, wood pasture and heathland, the Wildlife Trust is working with partners to put back areas of the Forest lost to development, intensive agriculture or other changes in land use.

In future, we believe that our success should be measured in terms of how much of the Sherwood Forest landscape we have restored, not just what we have managed to save.

Sherwood Forest

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is committed to protecting and enhancing the remaining areas of Sherwood's forest and heathland.

Sherwood Forest is famous the world over as the home of Robin Hood and home to magnificent oaks such as the Major Oak. Today, Sherwood Forest is home to an abundance of wildlife but sadly, what remains of the Forest is fragmented and under threat from pressures such as development, agriculture and climate change.

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust believes that more needs to be done to restore and reconnect our famous Forest and has developed the Champions of Sherwood campaign to enable everyone to play their part in helping to restore this legendary landscape.

At the heart of our campaign is the Sherwood Forest Restoration Fund, a fund which will be used to care for existing areas of Sherwood's heathland, woodland and wetland habitat and to fund research and restoration projects.

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is already caring for key areas of Sherwood Forest such as Rainworth Heath and Strawberry Hill Heath. It is also working with a wide range of partners including The Forestry Commision, The University of Nottingham, Local Authorities, community groups and private landowners to restore and reconnect the Sherwood landscape but to do more we need your support.

Thanks to the expertise built up over fifty years of conserving Nottinghamshire's special wildlife areas and the knowledge of our local members and volunteers, we believe that we can make a real difference – making every pound donated to the restoration fund count.

We are already delivering the largest heathland recreation programme in recent years at Rufford Colliery in partnership with Harworth Estates and teaching hundreds of local children about the value of Sherwood Forest each year, but with your help we can do more.

Donations to the Sherwood Forest Restoration Fund will be spent directly on conservation and education programmes Sherwood Forest, so why not become a Champion of Sherwood by making a donation today?

By 2020 we are aiming to restore over 500 hectares of heathland and over 2km of riverside habitat in Sherwood Forest. We also hope to expand our education programme so that thousands of local young people can learn more about the wildlife and history of the Forest.

By supporting the Sherwood Restoration Fund you can be part of the next chapter in the Sherwood Forest story.

Champions of Sherwood Map

To find out more about our campaign and why we need your support visit our Just Giving Campaign Page

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Ian Johnston

"Ask anyone across the world what they associate with Nottinghamshire and it will be Sherwood Forest and Robin Hood, yet for too long not enough has been done to protect, enhance and celebrate this historic landscape.

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, the county's largest locally based environmental charity, is committed to protecting the wildlife of Sherwood Forest and through our ambitious Sherwood Forest Restoration Fund we believe we can work with partners to restore and reconnect Sherwood's fragmented landscape."

Ian Johnston – Chairman

Working to Protect Wildlife on Your Doorstep

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is the county's largest environmental charity. Help us to create protect the county's threatened habitats including the heathlands, woodlands and wetlands of the world famous Sherwood Forest.

Become a Wildlife Trust Member

By supporting Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust you will helping us to create a living landscape where wildlife can thrive and where people can enjoy wildlife on their doorstep. For over 50 years, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has been standing up for wildlife in our county and working to protect precious wildlife and wild places. If the wildlife of Sherwood Forest and the wider Nottinghamshire landscape are important to you, you can make a real difference by becoming a member.

As a member, each year you will receive...

Three issues of Nottinghamshire Wildlife magazine packed with information about local wildlife and how you can get involved and UK wide projects.

  • Three issues of our 'What's On' Guide, a packed calendar of wildlife events.
  • Information about members-only events and access to a monthly e-newsletter.
  • Family Members also receive four issues of Wildlife Watch magazine for children.

Become a Corporate Champion of Sherwood

We urgently need to raise £1million to restore over 700 hectares of heathland to safeguard the future of this legendary forest and its wildlife for generations to come.

Can your company help to save this iconic landscape?

  • Become a Champion of Sherwood corporate supporter or headline sponsor
  • Sponsor a nature reserve
  • Provide in-kind support

Play your part in the next chapter of this legendary story and see tangible benefits to local wildlife, your company and your community. We have a range of Champions of Sherwood Corporate Supporter package options to suit all sizes of company.

Mike Dilger

"For over 50 years Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has been working to protect the county's precious wildlife. With the support of its members, it is working to restore and recreate threatened habitats across the county, including in the heart of Sherwood Forest. By supporting your local Wildlife Trust you can help them turn back the clock so that the once great heathlands and oak forests that linked Nottingham to Worksop can be re-connected."
Mike Dilger - Vice President Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

Become a
Wildife Trust Member

Become a Member of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust by clicking the link above – the more supporters we have the more we can do to protect threatened species and the stronger our voice will be when standing up for wildlife.

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Donate Online
You can donate to the Sherwood Forest Restoration Fund securely via Just Giving or Paypal by using the buttons above

Donate by Text
Text SHER14 £10 to 70070

Donate by text - from your mobile simply text SHER14 £10 to 70070 to donate to NOTTS WILDLIFE TRUST and make a difference today. JustTextGiving by Vodafone*

* Your text will simply cost the price of a regular text from your phone, plus of course the value of your donation. All of the money you donate will come to our Appeal in full, with no additional charges.

Champions of Sherwood
Corporate Supporter packages

Rainworth Heath

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is committed to restoring the historic Sherwood area, but did you know; Sherwood isn’t all about woodland?

Lowland heath was once common on the sandstone areas of Nottinghamshire, and much of Sherwood Forest was once covered in heathland. Most of this has now been lost to agriculture and forestry and this reserve is one of the few remaining areas of heathland in the county.

The site covers over 16 hectares and includes areas of both wet and dry heath and has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The wettest locations are characterised by peaty pools fringed with sphagnum moss and bulbous rush, which occur where water emerges from the Sherwood Sandstone.

The drier heathland includes species such as heather, bell heather, bracken, wavy hair-grass sheep’s sorrel and mat grass. Higher ground to the east of the site holds stands of broom and gorse, and the western edge of the reserve has developing birch woodland.

Rainworth Heath offers some great chances of spotting lizards basking, or of course seeing our Hebridean sheep in action; helping us to restore the site through traditional grazing.

Moving forwards, the Wildlife Trust is hopeful that in future Rainworth Heath could be a potential site for nightjar’s to move in to as the charity continues efforts to help the species by restoring adjacent land as heathland. In the meantime, this quiet area provides a diverse and naturally beautiful setting for a family adventure in historic Sherwood.

How to get there:

The site is open to the public and access is via a gate on the private road leading from Rainworth village to Rufford Colliery at SK 593591. If using satnav enter NG21 0HR and follow the following the preceding instructions. Please park off the road.

More details about this reserve are on the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust website.

Rainworth Heath Nature Reserve

Rainworth Heath Nature Reserve

Strawberry Hill Heath

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust are champions of Sherwood, and Strawberry Hill Heath is a great place to explore this historic landscape

Large areas of heathland once covered the sandstone areas of Nottinghamshire stretching from Mansfield east towards Ollerton up until the early 20th Century.

Much of this has now been lost due to agriculture and forestry, so Strawberry Hill Heath really offers a glimpse into medieval Sherwood.

Strawberry Hill itself consists of a circular area of sessile oak plantation, perhaps dating from the 1850s. Birch is common and the ground flora here is dominated by bracken and wavy hair-grass with some heather. Central areas of the site are largely dominated by heather and bracken, with patches of gorse and broom scrub. Tree cover varies greatly but over much of the site there is a scattering of oak and birch, with denser woodland around the edge of the site.

Seventeen species of fungi have been recorded in the heathland areas together with many mosses and lichens. Areas of bare or sparsely-vegetated sandy ground amongst the heathers are valuable for invertebrates and reptiles, and over 40 species of beetle have been recorded across the site. At the north-eastern corner, ground subsidence has lead to the formation of a permanent wetland area.

Strawberry Hill Heath is a great place to explore and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is currently working with partners to extend and link remaining areas of heathland within the Sherwood Forest landscape to ensure they have a secure future.

How to get there:

Access is via Jubilee Way South, Mansfield (SK570603). If using satnav. enter NG18 3FX and look for the Bridleway between the quarry and the golf driving range.

More details about this reserve are on the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust website.

Samworth Academy A-Level students at Strawberry Hill

Samworth Academy A-Level students at Strawberry Hill

Volunteers at Strawberry Hill

Volunteers at Strawberry Hill

Foxcovert Plantation

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust purchased this site in 1996 after a huge fundraising campaign to secure it’s future. In 2005, a large part of the site underwent a 5 year transformation that saw the removal of invasive, non-native sycamore and the planting of over 500 english oak. Work is ongoing to control rhododendron and bracken to benefit the diverse range of plants and animals that make their home here.

Much of the site is a secondary mixed deciduous woodland believed to be part of the ancient Sherwood Forest. High numbers of fungal species and survey work on moths and other invertebrates suggest that the plantation was established on the site of ancient woodland. Some records are of species only found locally in Sherwood Forest woodlands, underlining the site’s heritage as part of this world famous forest.

Heath bedstraw and wood sage are found in the main wood, and in the grassy ride harebell, common mouse ear, foxglove and almost 30 other native flowers can be found. Small areas of bramble and gorse provide habitat for insects and birds and cover for the entrances of the many rabbit burrows. A triangular open area of wavy hair grass is home for the common green grasshopper. Seven other common grasses are found throughout the reserve.

In summer garden and willow warblers, chiffchaff and blackcap, spotted flycatcher and roding woodcock join other common woodland species. If the autumn is wet and mild the wood fills with the fruiting bodies of fungi, including the beautiful fly agaric and many fascinating bracket fungi.

How to get there:

The wood is situated about half a mile east of Burntstump Country Park on the A614 (SK586505).  From the A614, follow the B6386 towards Oxton and take the first left onto Gravelly Hollow, just past Patchings Farm Arts Centre. This is signposted as a dead end or ‘road ahead closed.’ The reserve can be accessed from the Forestry Commission car park off the road or cars can be parked at the end of the road adjacent to the A614. The reserve is open to the public, but visitors are asked to keep to the footpaths.

More details about this reserve are on the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust website.

Sheep at Foxcovert Nature Reserve

Sheep at Foxcovert © NWT

Foxcovert Nature Reserve

Foxcovert © NWT

Working with partners to restore
Sherwood Forest's legendary landscape

Such is the scale and importance of the need to restore Sherwood Forest's legendary landscape that no one organization can achieve success in isolation. Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has a long-standing reputation of partnership working, whether with local authorities, local landowners, other conservation bodies, community groups or business to secure a better deal for wildlife.

By working together, sharing our resources and expertise we can achieve so much more in Sherwood Forest.

New Forest Ponies at Sherwood Pines

New forest ponies at Sherwood Pines

Restoring vital Habitats

In partnership with Harworth Estates, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is currently delivering the largest heathland restoration project in the county for over a decade.

By re-creating heathland on the former Rufford Colliery site, immediate adjacent to our own Rainworth Heath Nature Reserve we can start to link remaining fragments of heathland, helping to safeguard them for the future.

Bordered Shield Bug Trevor & Dilys Pendleton

Bordered Shieldbug © Trevor & Dilys Pendleton

Research and Monitoring

In partnership with local volunteers from the Birklands Ringing Group, The University of Nottingham and the British Trust for Ornithology, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is supporting innovative research involving the monitoring of key Sherwood species such as the nightjar and the cuckoo.


Nightjar - a key protected species

Supporting Local Communities

Across the Sherwood landscape Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust supports a number of volunteer 'Friends' groups – providing advise and support to help them care for important local wildlife areas. We also work with a number of local schools and youth organisations through our education and outreach programme.

Over the past two years over 1500 local young people have taken part in activities designed to help them learn more about local wildlife and the local through our Restoring Sherwood's Historic Heathlands project.

In 2015 we will working with around 800 pupils from the Sherwood Forest area, providing an exciting programme of learning opportunities linked to our involvement in a special nighjar research project.

Berry Hill School at Rainworth Heath

The Wildlife Trusts: Protecting Wildlife for the Future