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Sponsored walk total tops £16,000 for forest

Posted onPosted on 7th Jun

More than £16,000 has been raised for Walesby Forest, thanks to a sponsored walk by its 78-year-old leader, David Huxley.

The efforts of the president of the board of trustees at Walesby Forest, an internationally-acclaimed outdoor activity centre in the heart of Sherwood Forest, will enable the independent charity to continue running following a challenging year. 

David walked 108 miles along the Robin Hood Way to raise much-needed funds for the centre and celebrate 70 years since he first visited the site as a wolf Cub with Scouts.

The 250-acre outdoor activity centre and campsite, established in 1938, usually hosts up to 50,000 visitors per year but was hard hit by the pandemic, experiencing a 90% revenue drop in 2020 and a further 50% decrease forecasted for this year.

David said: “I’m blown away by the generosity of everyone who donated; this is a fantastic sum that will make a real difference to Walesby Forest. 

“I first visited the site in 1951 and I remember it vividly — even after all these years — so it was great to combine the celebration with raising vital funds to ensure the centre remains open for the next generation to enjoy the same fantastic experience I did.

“The walk was certainly a challenge, but many people volunteered to walk with me for parts of the journey to keep me company and it was an unforgettable experience.”

David set off from Nottingham Castle, with his route weaving through Watnall, Blidworth, Farnsfield, Eakring, Creswell Crags and many more villages and towns across eight days, before he finished at the Walesby Forest site.

Guy Laurie, chief executive at Walesby Forest, said: “We’re incredibly proud of David. The fantastic sum he has raised for the centre as well as completing 108 miles in just over a week — no easy feat for anyone — is impressive.

“I’d also like to thank everyone who donated to Walk for Walesby as your contribution will make a huge difference to the survival of the centre. 

“In pre-coronavirus times we welcomed more than 50,000 visitors per year including Scouts and Guides, schools, youth groups, corporate events, and the local community.

“We host school holiday camps, festivals, bonfire night events and much more so the scale of everything we offer — and are trying to preserve — is huge.

“We’re therefore very hopeful for the future and look forward to welcoming open young people and the local community for the next 80 years.”

To donate to Walk for Walesby, visit the JustGiving page