Introduction

A series of audio walks that will tell a new story of the culture, identity and history of the Sherwood Forest area.

Initiated by the Nottingham community theatre company Excavate in partnership with Inspire: Learning, Libraries and Culture and the Miner2Major Landscape Partnership scheme, and funded by Arts Council England and the Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Sherwood Voices project is working with groups of people from towns and villages across the region, to map walks and gather memories and stories that focus on hidden histories and contemporary experience. Together we will create a series of walking routes and audio stories that will allow people to experience and understand the area in a new way. 

Over the Winter and into Spring the team has been out visiting libraries and community venues in towns and villages across the area to gather people’s tales and knowledge, as well as offering them the chance to submit their own stories and insights through Sherwood Storycards and the Sherwood Voices website.  We’ve also been working with people to create a series of seven local walks and are now in the process of shaping all of this material into audio pieces that guide the listener and respond to the locations that are passed through. Each of the pieces – a combination of podcast and audio drama – aims to embrace and communicate something of the culture, both past and present, of the area. The whole series will be launched together in the Autumn.

Andy Barrett, whose many plays for BBC Radio, New Perspectives and the Nottingham Playhouse, have been based on local histories, will be working with groups on choosing and shaping the stories that will be told and the walking routes on which they will be shared. ‘Over the last year we’ve all embraced the local and have realised how important our neighbours and communities are.  This project is a chance to dig into the diversity of voice and experience that make up the places where we live, and to encourage people to explore their towns and villages anew through the power of story and the joy of walking’.