Pensioner set for 108 mile trek to raise money for struggling Walesby Forest Centre after 'toughest year on record'
A 78-year-old man is set to walk the Robin Hood Way – a total of 108 miles – to raise money for the Walesby Forest Centre.
The 250-acre Nottinghamshire outdoor activity centre and campsite was established in 1938 and is located in the heart of Sherwood Forest.
It usually hosts up to 50,000 visitors per year and was hard hit by the pandemic, experiencing a 90 per cent revenue drop in 2020 and a further 50 per cent forecasted for this year.
As well as raising much needed funds for the centre, the fundraising walk is also a personal celebration for David Huxley, who is president of the board of trustees at the independent charity.
This year marks 70 years since he first visited the site as a wolf cub and many subsequent visits as part of the Nottinghamshire Scouts.
He will be walking for an eight-day period, weaving through many Nottinghamshire villages and towns.
“I first visited Walesby Forest in 1951 and I remember it vividly, even after all these years,” David said. "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 next generation to enjoy the same fantastic experience I did.”
Guy Laurie, chief executive at Walesby Forest, will be joining David for part of the walk.
He said: “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 visit the JustGiving page: https://www.justgivig.com/campaign/walkforwalesby or the Walesby Forest reception to donate in person.