Forest launch, 31 August

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The Green Spaces team had a stall at the official reopening of the Forest pavilion on 31 August 2013.

The event was to mark the completion of a refurbishment programme for the Forest, partly made possibly because of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of £5.2m (plus various other financial contributions, including from Nottingham City Council), and following a good deal of pressure over several years from the Friends of the Forest, formed in 2001.Forest reopening 013

The team put on a display of photographs with informative captions showing some of the high points in the use of the Forest since the nineteenth century, including King George V’s Coronation in 1911, and wartime.

The best laid plans etc. Judith Mills had every angle covered in preparing for the event, except for the unseasonable wind which kept blowing over the display boards In the end these had to be tied down to tables! Still, there was plenty of interest and many visitors to the stall.

Forest reopening 006The official reopening was undertaken by Nottinghamshire’s Lord Lieutenant, Sir John Peace, and Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Merlita Bryan, who was particularly pleased with the renovations on the Forest because, as she told the crowd, it was in her ward!

The work that has gone on should ensure that the Forest enjoys many more years as one of Nottingham’s premier green spaces.

On the steps behind the pavilion on the Forest is the York stone slab with the quotation the Green Spaces team provided. From our suggestions they selected a quote from William Howitt’s Rural Life of England (1840):

” – a long, furzy common, crowned at the top by about twenty windmills, and descending in a steep slope to a fine level, round which the race-course runs.”

The Green Spaces team is collecting a evidence and material about the Forest, and we are doing so in conjunction with June Perry, who is chair of the Friends of the Forest, and her volunteers.

Visitors to Goose Fair in October, and patrons of the Park and Ride site, probably have little knowledge of the area, and we hope that our work will, eventually, help to raise awareness of its long and varied history.

Prof. John Beckett

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