Mention Sherwood Forest and it instantly conjures up an image of men clad in green tights stealing money from the rich and giving to the poor.
The public’s fascination with the legend of Robin Hood and his merry men seems endless; the 2010 Russell Crowe film is testament to that. There have been films or television series made about Robin Hood in every decade since the 1900s and yet, it seems we still can’t get enough.
It’s not surprising considering the legend’s unusual setting. The idea of a band of ‘good’ outlaws living and evading capture in a forest is a classic back to basics story.
Sherwood Forest is a Royal Forest in Nottinghamshire, surrounding Edwinstowe village, the site of Thoresby Hall. The forest that we know today is only a remnant of the once proud 10,000 acre forest. It now stands at 450 acres, made up of the ancient forests of Birklands and Budby.
A portion of Sherwood Forest was designated a National Nature Reserve by English Nature in 2002. It is this area of the forest that is open for visitors.
As well as being known for its connection with Robin Hood, Sherwood is an area of national ecological importance and has 900 ancient oak trees, including the famous Major Oak which, local folklore has it, was Robin Hood’s main hideout. The tree is believed to be between 800 and 1,000 years old and its branches are now supported by an elaborate scaffolding structure. The impressive tree is just a 10 minute walk from the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre.