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Green light for Sherwood Forest visitor centre

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JDDK Architects has secured planning permission for a new £5.3 million visitor centre at Sherwood Forest.

The Newcastle-based practice received the go-ahead from Newark and Sherwood District Council for a 558m² split-level structure designed to lead visitors into the forest.

The project, for an RSPB-led consortium which includes the Sherwood Forest Trust, Continuum Attractions and Thoresby Estate, will see a new building added to the existing cricket club, youth hostel and arts and crafts centre at Forest Corner.

JDDK principal architect Alison Thornton-Sykes said: ‘One of the main features of the centre is its curved, twisted form, created by staggered roof beams, which reflect the forest environment and the “trees that sheltered him” concept of Robin Hood.

‘There are several different elements to this, from creating an initial welcoming area for visitors with toilets, retail and recreation facilities to creating wilderness zones to give visitors a real sense of the ancient forest environment. Indeed, one of the most popular attractions of the whole area is the magnificent Major Oak, the approximately 1,000-year-old tree where the Merry Men outlaw band supposedly slept.

‘The linear format pulls visitors through and down the 5m level change into the double-height café space and out to the exterior amphitheatre sheltered by the overhanging canopy, an integral part of the roof.’

JDDK has previously worked with the RSPB on projects including its 2009 RIBA award-winning Salthome Wildlife Reserve and Discovery Park Visitor Centre in the North East.

Councillor John Knight, culture committee chairman at Nottinghamshire County Council, said the project was ‘great news for ‘Sherwood Forest, for Robin Hood, local communities and for the hundreds of thousands of visitors’ the park receives each year. He added: ‘Our current visitor centre is well loved but does not provide a full visitor offer that people expect. This new modern centre will be wonderful for everyone and will bring a real boost to the visitor economy.’

Jddk sherwood sketch

Jddk sherwood sketch

Project data

Location Edwinstowe, Sherwood Forest, Nottingham
Type of project Leisure
Client RSPB-led consortium
Architect JDDK Architects
Cost £5.3 million

Jddk architects visitor centre sherwood elevationl

Jddk architects visitor centre sherwood elevationl


  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Do those seemingly random raking timber blades slicing through the deep timber mullions really add anything positive to the building's design?

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