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Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre

SCAPE Venture has allowed us to work collaboratively with Woodhead throughout the value engineering stage, and ultimately, it has helped us to get the project onto site a lot quicker.”

Ross Frazer | Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre Project Manager | RSPB

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Local spend within 40 miles
Local labour within 40 miles

An exciting new chapter for a world-famous country park

Sherwood Forest is a global brand and the addition of a modern, interactive new Visitor Centre will be a gateway to the legendary home of Robin Hood and the historic Sherwood Forest. Through the commission of the new building, the RSPB hope to bring higher footfall, increase tourism, aid education, learning and engagement and benefit the local community.

The new facility was procured through SCAPE Venture, and is being delivered by our partner Robert Woodhead Ltd.

The design of the building needs to reflect and complement its surroundings, ensuring that any impact on the Forest is minimised, so careful consideration of how work is undertaken and what materials are used is vital to helping the client deliver a sustainable building.

External architectural landscaping will help the building further blend into its surroundings and an outdoor Amphitheatre and terrace will provide visitors and staff with stunning views directly into the Forest.

The delivery of the project will be split into three phases. Phase one created a 4,360m2 car park with an additional 1,000m2 coach parking area. Infrastructure and enabling works were completed to create the new entrance to the Visitor Centre. Services were installed or diverted, a new zebra crossing with traffic calming now links the carpark safely to the Visitor Centre. A new access road to the cemetery adjacent to the Visitor Centre was developed and a bridleway, which was running through the site of the new centre was diverted to facilitate phase 2.

Phase 2 will see the creation and build of a BREEAM Very Good planned, accessible Visitor Centre that will house retail space, exhibition space, a café and interpretation zones in which to tell the unparalleled story of Sherwood Forest and Robin Hood.

There will also be opportunities for children from the local school to visit the site and learn more about construction.

The third phase will see the remediation and removal of the current Visitor Centre and car parks, which were built in the 1970s. This will allow the RSPB to return the land to nature.

A Virtual Building

The scheme will be delivered using BIM level 2. Collaborative BIM integration workshops have been held and a Revit model has been developed. Collaborative workshops will continue with mechanical and electrical consultants and architects to meet requirements, share good practice and enable joint learning.

Building to BREEAM Very Good

The brief was to keep the building simple and focus on the building fabric to reduce lifecycle costs. A Ground Source Heat Pump will heat the building combined with solar gain from full height glazed panels.

Social Value

The project will positively impact the local community, providing the local school with a once in a generation opportunity to be involved from start to finish. Regular community updates have been delivered, keeping local businesses and residents informed of the project progress and communication meetings are taking place periodically.


A time-constrained delivery programme had to be developed, which reduces a 58-week programme into a 46-week programme. This has been decided as the lease on the existing visitors centre is due to expire at the end of that period.

Before Phase 1 commenced, in preparation for Phase 2, 68 trees were removed. This was completed in line with bird nesting seasons. Sherwood Forest Trust competed the works and new trees will be replanted within the landscape design. A number of historically significant trees remain under tree protection orders.

Neighbours and local businesses at the “Craft Village”

Next to the site, a number of artisan businesses form part of the “Craft Village”. Regular communication has been and will continue to be maintained, including letter drops and regular face to face visits. Minimal disruption to trading will be a key priority during the delivery, and we will keep the businesses open as usual.

RSPB Project Sherwood Forest
RSPB Project Sherwood Forest Trust
RSPB Project NCC
RSPB Project Continuum Corporate
RSPB Project Thoresby
RSPB Project Woodland Trust
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