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Robin Hood, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire

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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.

Robin Hood, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire

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.

Other native trees are the silver birch, rowan, holly and Hawthorne.
Nature lovers flock to Sherwood for its woodland, birdlife (which includes the great-spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker, tawny owl, redstart, tree pipit, nightjar and woodlark) and even its 1,000 different beetle and spider species. Sherwood is also home to a number of bat species.

The numerous Robin Hood movies and television shows, including the 2006 BBC version, have all shown Sherwood as a rich green and tree-laden forest; in actual fact, much of the original Sherwood Forest was dominated by heath land such as that found in present day Budby South Forest.

If visitors are lucky, they can see Sherwood’s last remaining herd of wild deer roaming the open heath.

Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve is open all year round. It can be reached by bus from Nottingham or on the B6034 to the north of Edwinstowe village. Parking can be found at Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre.







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