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Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre and Rufford Country Park branch out into world-first 5G forest

Plans to create the worlds first 5G connected forest are well under way in the county, according to Nottinghamshire County Council.

The council, in partnership with academic researchers and local businesses, is leading the £10m trial programme at popular tourist attractions Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre and Rufford Country Park.

With £5m in funding from the DCMS’s Rural Connected Communities programme, matched by the consortium partners, the project focuses on how 5G technology can support the tourism and environment protection sectors.

Nottinghamshire County Council logo (42864210)
Nottinghamshire County Council logo (42864210)

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 Nottinghamshire is leading the way in using the latest technology to deliver experiences which will inspire more visitors to come to the county, ultimately benefitting the local economy and businesses in the area.

“I firmly believe these fantastic visitor experiences highlight our ongoing commitment to make Nottinghamshire a go-to destination and ultimately boost our tourism offer.

Dominic Le Moignan (50824069)
Dominic Le Moignan (50824069)

“5G Connected Forest will also bring our historic and ancient woodland to life in a new and unique way, while also helping to protect it so it can be enjoyed by families and visitors for many years and decades to come.

“I would like to thank our partners for the excellent progress they have made as we work towards delivering an innovative project which will put Nottinghamshire at the forefront of the digital world.”

A new standalone website detailing the project’s vision and innovative work has now gone live.

Dominic Le Moignan (50824097)
Dominic Le Moignan (50824097)

It is planned visitors will watch An Arrow Through Time via mixed reality headsets in what has been described as the world’s first ever interactive holographic movie.

The production was 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.

Phil Hasted, of Nottingham-based Gooii Ltd, said: “We’re excited to produce one of, if not the world’s first ever interactive holographic movie. We have an amazing cast, combined with a thrilling story and we can’t wait for you to be part of the adventure.”

The 5G Connected Forest will enable visitors to experience an augmented reality ghost walk at nearby Rufford Mill, while an innovative app-based experience called Tags-in-the-Parks will be introduced to help bring visits to the park to life.

The project is a partnership with Nottingham Trent University Birmingham City University, Netmore IOT Solutions, Gooii, ISPB, Harworth Group, Parkwood Leisure and the RSPB.

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