Friday, 27 April 2012

Guest Blog entry: Promoting Sherwood Forest

Guest blogger Dale Twigger the Web/SEO Marketing Officer for Experience Nottinghamshire shares how they promote the world famous Sherwood Forest:

From a tourism perspective, promoting the history of Sherwood Forest is an essential part of enabling visitors to the area to get the most value from their experience.

One of the main things that we try and do on our website is present Sherwood Forest as several major country parks, including Clumber Park, Thoresby Park, Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve and Sherwood Pines. Whilst the history of Sherwood has meant a fragmented forest in some ways, we are still very fortunate to have such excellent open spaces available to the public.

Many visitors associate Sherwood Forest as the home of Robin Hood too, so it’s important to relate the forest and its ancient history to potential visitors. Recently, we have re-launched the Robin Hood audio trail online, which takes visitors around 15 countywide locations.

On the trail, you’ll obviously find Nottingham Castle and the National Nature Reserve but we also include King John’s Palace in King’s Clipstone as a former royal hunting lodge. The lodge was the recent subject of a Channel 4 Time Team investigation.

On the trail, we also acknowledge some of the woodland areas that add value and enable visitors to get off the beaten track a little. Places like Thieves Wood and Fountaindale are included and reference is also made to Haywood Oaks near Blidworth.

More recent history also plays a part in adding depth to the marketing of Sherwood Forest. The Dukeries area which is a unique area of the estates of English nobility include Thoresby Hall, Clumber Park, Welbeck Abbey, Rufford Abbey and Worksop Manor.

Whilst Worksop Manor no longer exists, we are able to work with the other four estates. In particular, the Welbeck Estate has recently expanded its visitor experience with the addition of the School of Artisan Food and in summer 2012 the No Direction Home Festival will take place in the estate grounds.

All in all, we try to use the history of Sherwood Forest as much as possible to be able to offer depth to the visitor experience. As the forest has fragmented over time, it sometimes can be difficult to present but overall we’re excited about the future.

Nottinghamshire County Council are currently investigating options for a new visitor centre at the National Nature Reserve and remain committed to the long term aim of developing regional park status for the forest. Hopefully the new visitor centre can act as a central reference point for wider Sherwood Forest which takes in the areas I’ve mentioned and more.

If we continue to promote the broader area through our website and social media, and with exciting new developments under consideration, we’re enthusiastic that visitors to the region will be able to engage more with the wonderful depth of offer that Sherwood Forest provides.

Dale Twigger
Web/SEO Marketing Officer
Experience Nottinghamshire


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