Sherwood Forest awarded almost £5m from 5G funding pot

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Sherwood Forest has been awarded £4,975,948 to create a 5G Connected Forest.

Announced by Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden today (20 January), the funding is part of a series of government-funded trials to help rural areas seize the potential of modern technology.

The focus of the 5G Connected Forest project will be to explore the potential for 5G applications in the preservation of forests and their environment, and in enhancing the experience of visitors to the forest and surrounding area with cutting-edge apps and Robin Hood telling the history of the medieval forest via virtual and augmented reality on 5G networks.

From robotic environmental management and non-intrusive live monitoring of the health of a forest, to live AR and VR experiences for visitors of all ages, and inspiring public transport users; the project will also investigate business models that can enable operators to boost rural connectivity and create innovative applications with the potential for commercial development.

Councillor Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council said: “This project will be front and centre of retelling the story of Robin Hood to future generations. It will be situated in the ancient royal forest of Sherwood, which has been wooded since the end of the last Glacial Period. There is no better opportunity to trial 5G in a forest setting anywhere else in the UK – not just for the area’s geography, but for its rich and fascinating history.

“I see this project as the start of a journey that will truly see Nottinghamshire on the regional, national and international tourism and environment management maps; as well as providing us with the opportunity to build the digital skills and opportunities of our residents and businesses.”