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Stepping out to help Walesby Forest centre

Posted onPosted on 19th May

The president of the board of trustees at internationally-acclaimed Walesby Forest, 78-year-old David Huxley, is walking the 108-mile Robin Hood Way to raise money for the centre.

David started on Monday and is expected to complete his fundraising effort on Monday, 24th May.

An independent charity, the 250-acre Nottinghamshire outdoor activity centre and campsite, which was established in 1938, usually hosts up to 50,000 visitors per year.

However, it was hit hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, experiencing a 90% revenue drop in 2020 and a further 50% forecast for this year.

As well as raising much needed funds for the centre, the walk is also a personal celebration for David. 2021 marks 70 years since he first visited the site as a wolf Cub, from Radcliffe on Trent, and many subsequent visits as part of Nottinghamshire Scouts.

David said: “I first visited Walesby Forest in 1951 and I remember it vividly, even after all these years, so I knew I wanted to do something to celebrate the milestone.

“However, with the struggle Walesby is currently facing due to Covid-19, it’s a great opportunity to raise some much-needed funds to ensure the centre remains open for the next generation to enjoy the same fantastic experience I did.”

David is walking for an eight-day period, with the expected route weaving through many Nottinghamshire villages and towns.

•Day one: Monday 17 May – Nottingham Castle to Watnall
•Day two: Tuesday 18 May – Watnall to Blidworth
•Day three: Wednesday 19 May – Blidworth to Farnsfield
•Day four: Thursday 20 May – Rest day
•Day five: Friday 21 May – Farnsfield to Eakring
•Day six: Saturday 22 May – Eakring to Creswell Crags
•Day seven: Sunday 23 May – Rest day
•Day eight: Monday 24 May – Creswell Crags to Walesby Forest

Guy Laurie, chief executive at Walesby Forest, who will be joining David for part of the walk, added: “We’re so proud of David as it’s no mean feat to walk 108 miles in just over a week.

“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.

“I, therefore, urge anyone who has visited the centre as part of the Scouts, Guides or on a school or corporate trip to consider supporting David’s fundraising effort. We’ve had the toughest year on record, and we just hope to raise enough funds to see us through this challenging period as well as remain open for young people and the local community for the next 80 years.”

To donate to Walk for Walesby, visit the charity’s JustGiving page or go to the Walesby Forest reception to donate in person.