A robot dog, an interactive Robin Hood movie and new 5G technology - how tourism to Sherwood Forest is set to change
An enhanced visitor experience at Sherwood Forest is set to include robot dogs, internet-controlled drones and a 5G upgrade.
Nottinghamshire County Council has said that the work would make it the world's first 5G-connected forest.
The authority hopes the stronger signal could be used to offer visitors an augmented reality headset to view an immersive new Robin Hood-themed film.
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The drones and robot dogs could be used to help with environmental research at the ancient site.
The £10m trial - which also covers area around the forest, including Rufford Abbey - has been part-funded by the government's Rural Connected programme.
It is hoped the 5G technology will help businesses in the area.
Birmingham City University has provided the site with the robot dog, which will collect data and upload it via the 5G connection.
If successful, the dog will gather data from areas that are usually inaccessible to help monitor and assess the health and condition of the forest environment.
‘An Arrow Through Time’ has been described as the ‘world’s first ever interactive holographic movie’.
The production has been put together by project partner Gooii Ltd and features an exciting cast of actors, including Black Mirror’s Dominic Le Moignan, using a script co-written by Bafta award-winning CBBC writer and producer Nick Hutchings.
The move comes after Sherwood Forest tour guide Richard Townsley called for North Nottinghamshire to reclaim Robin Hood as its own – with much outlaw-related tourism activity focused on Nottingham, which he says the legendary outlaw never visited.
Speaking from Rufford Mill at the launch event this week, Councillor Keith Girling, chairman of the county council’s economic development and asset management committee, said: “5G Connected Forest really is an exciting project and I am proud that Nottinghamshire is leading the way with these trials.
“An Arrow Through Time, brings local legends to life in a way never seen before.
“I’ve been lucky enough to experience how amazing it is. I know others will love it too.
“It showcases our ongoing commitment to make Nottinghamshire an even more attractive place to visit thanks to the development of world-class visitor experiences such as this.”