Sherwood Forest is special

The world’s most famous heritage forest. Legendary stomping ground of Robin Hood.

Since Victorian times, a magnet for tourists. Today, it’s an ecological treasure.

Over the last 1000 years people have had a huge impact on nature. Sherwood Forest is no exception. The destruction of habitats and loss of species, wooded landscapes cut down, people becoming disconnected from nature. All symptoms of human progress.

It once spanned most of Nottinghamshire, but over the centuries Sherwood Forest has become smaller and fragmented. The picture (below) shows the extent of this destruction and loss.

How much of the natural, green spaces have gone?

Then & Now Map2015 paypal donate button

What does your donation do?

If you stand up for the environment, believe in people power and champion history, then you can help the landscape of Royal Sherwood Forest.

  • We plant hundreds of trees every year to leave a planet for the benefit of future generations. It costs £5 to plant a tree, but we want to plant thousands of trees in the coming years!

  • Our events, such as the Woodland Festival & Sparkling Sherwood, celebrate Sherwood’s amazing nature, its legends and its heritage. Our events are often free so we need sponsors & donations to make them happen!

  • We engage with thousands of people every year. But this takes time & resources so your donation supports our work with schools, local communities and many more folk!

Donations, sponsorship and grants are our small, local charities lifeblood, and every pound you donate makes a great difference.

Tree planting with school children in Sherwood Forest

A thousand years of history

Sherwood was once a medieval Royal hunting forest that stretched across thousands of acres – covering much of Nottinghamshire west and north of the River Trent.  Its game and timber were the jealously guarded property of the Crown, its woods, wastes and open sandy heath the playground for kings,aristocrats and outlaws

Threatened landscape

This majestic English landscape suffered centuries of change, threat and fragmentation.  Crown lands were sold, enclosed, developed. From Tudor shipbuilding to Victorian coal mining, industry has exploited the natural riches in and under the Forest.  From WWI training camps at Clipstone and trench and tank training on Budby Heath to the conifer plantations, designed to ease a post war timber shortage, Man’s activity has reshaped its landscapes.  What remains of Sherwood Forest is too precious to lose.

Secrets & surprises

Sherwood Forest guards secrets and surprises.  Over the past few years, amateur historians have rediscovered in the forest a lost Viking meeting place, “Thynghowe.”  And archaeology has confirmed that what was long thought the slight remains of a hunting lodge at Kings Clipstone was once a sprawling medieval palace.  In 2010 bug experts located the only colony in the UK of the rare Hazel Pot Beetle, and at Clumber Park volunteers found a Diamond Spider – presumed extinct for 50 years.  What more undiscovered treasures await discovery?

Immerse yourself!

Experience Sherwood’s haunting beauty at sites such as Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, where visitors walk the ancient woodlands of “Bilhaugh” and “Birklands” through groves of slender silver birch, beneath 500 year old oak trees gnarled by time and weather into fantastical shapes.

What is the Sherwood Forest Trust?

The Sherwood Forest Trust, based in Robin Hood’s village of Edwinstowe, has a mission to conserve, preserve and celebrate Sherwood Forest.

We are the only charity entirely devoted to this famous heritage forest.

What Do We Do?

  • We plant trees – with schools, local businesses and groups.  Britain needs thousands more!  Want to help?  Contact us to find out how.
  • Events celebrating traditional forest skills such as the Major Oak Woodland Festival at Sherwood Forest Country Park.
  • Paid conservation management for partners including Newark & Sherwood District Council.
  • Helping volunteers, community groups, landowners, councils and other charities on projects that help our local area.
  • Heritage projects – for example by managing the 2020 ‘Spirit of wartime Sherwood’ project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

What We Don’t Do

We don’t manage the Sherwood Forest Country Park & Visitor Centre.  Since 2018 the country park has been managed by the RSPB  on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council

We don’t own land.  But we work in partnership with landowners and land managers – helping, advocating and coordinating, for the benefit of Sherwood Forest.

Major Oak painting by Andrew MacCallum 1882

Forest Facts

  • Sherwood was once a Royal Hunting Forest, like Epping Forest or the Forest of Dean – a patchwork of open grassland and heathland mixed with woodland and ‘wood pasture.’

  • The Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, a remarkable survival of ancient woodland, near Edwinstowe, is the natural heart of modern Sherwood.  But medieval Sherwood Forest was much bigger, covering about a fifth of the county of Nottinghamshire.

  • By the year 2000, 90% of Sherwood Forest’s heathland had been lost, along with much of its woodland, some of which had been continuously forested since the end of the last Ice Age.

  • In 1995, The Sherwood Forest Trust was established to help fight this decline.

  • We protect and champion the whole area that once formed Royal Sherwood Forest.

  • Our mission is to conserve and celebrate the nature, legends, heritage and culture of 21st Century Sherwood Forest.

The Sherwood Forest Trust is the Robin Hood for today.