Headstack and mining wheel of an old colliery in Sherwood Forest

Sherwood Voices: An inspiring audio walking experience voiced by Nottinghamshire residents takes listeners on a journey through the stories and culture of Sherwood Forest area

Residents and visitors to Nottinghamshire will soon be stepping into Sherwood Voices, a series of six audio walks written and directed by Excavate’s Andy Barrett, and led by Sherwood people, who invite listeners to take an audio-guided tour of Robin Hood country.

Episodes feature personal stories, experiences, and points of view from people who live in the Sherwood Forest area to inspire people to visit and explore the heart of Nottinghamshire. The walks will be available to download and stream from the start of National Storytelling Week on Saturday 28th January, with a small number of MP3 players and headsets available at each location for members of the public to access.

The towns and villages of the Sherwood Forest region are full of diverse wildlife, important habitats, fascinating people, and a rich heritage of stories. From Bestwood to Ollerton, Edwinstowe to Newstead, the area has a distinctive landscape, character, and local legends, which are recognised and valued by local people as well as visitors from around the world.

The walks have been created through hours of conversation with people from across the Sherwood Forest area. Alongside storytellers, listeners will hear from shepherds, anglers, undertakers, park rangers, vicars, schoolchildren, and many others. The location of each walk spans across Bestwood, Calverton, Clipstone, Edwinstowe, Newstead and Ollerton; each with their own story to tell. The walks respond to the sights and sounds that visitors will come cross on their journey, and delve into the past, the present and something of the future of their location.

Sherwood Voices is led by Excavate and supported by Inspire, Miner2Major, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England.

Andy Barrett, Director of Excavate, commented;

“The recent experience of lockdown has made us all realise the importance of our local landscape as a place to walk and explore. These audio tours build on this as well as exploring what has been, over the past thirty years or so, a period of profound change for the area. Sherwood Voices digs into this change; exploring the past and present culture of the area, and in doing so reveals how we all make sense of the places in which we live”.

Steve Little, Scheme Manager of Miner2Major, commented;

“Sherwood Forest is steeped in history with many tales to tell. Thanks to National Lottery players Sherwood Voices brings to life local stories and connections to this wonderful area told by the people who live here”.

Peter Gaw, INSPIRE, Chief Executive commented;

“Sherwood Voices is an exciting storytelling project that invites listeners to discover the rich heritage of Sherwood Forest through the unique stories and perspectives of the people that live there. Whether it’s rediscovering one’s own backyard or uncovering new sights, this project promises to inspire exploration. At Inspire Libraries, we are proud to support this project, as we believe that heritage plays an essential role in learning and education”.

The full audio walks will be available to download and stream for free from 28th January on the Inspire website. You can access the Sherwood Voices booklet online or pick up a copy at RSPB Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre in Edwinstowe, Dynamo Café in Bestwood, Calverton and Clipstone Libraries, Lifespring Church in Ollerton, The Welfare Community Centre in Newstead and Nottingham Tourism and Travel Centre in Nottingham city centre. Call the team at Ask Inspire for any further guidance about accessing maps and mp3 players on 01623 677 200.

Further information can be found at Sherwood Voices | Inspire – Culture, Learning, Libraries
(inspireculture.org.uk)

Posted on 20 January 2023

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Jack Woolley