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Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest

Listed under Literary Locations in Midlands, United Kingdom.

Photo of Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest
Photo by flickr user soylentgreen23
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Though a legend (I’m including him in the list of literary characters), Robin Hood is responsible for the popularity of Sherwood Forest which has proven both its rise and downfall.

Not as well managed in the last 200 years or so as it should have been, the thousand year old trees here are reaching the end of their natural lives and the smaller trees that would replace them have been cut down, leaving gaping holes in the forest. Though large sections have been recently replanted the time that it takes for these unhurried trees to develop is more time than the forest has, but because of Robin’s legend people come here and make use of the tourist centres etc. bringing much needed funds to the cause. Which isn’t really robbing from the rich but asking for a donation from everyone - much more egalitarian.

Hood’s legend (historians are still arguing over whether or not he was a real man.) has been popular for around 700 years but it really began to draw a crowd to Sherwood during the 1800s. The main spectacle then and now is the major oak, a vast 800 year old oak tree Robin is supposed to have hidden in. This (though now unable to support its own heavy branches and is held up by poles) is a majestic sight something like 10 metres around the trunk with generously spreading branches. The rest of the forest is still beautiful but its gaps in growth are becoming more obvious.

If you’re interested in an all over Robin Hood experience there is plenty of information in the eco-friendly visitors centre along with themed walks and rides through the forest. The whole region is a wealth of Hood related activities for those who like a good re-enactment, archery display or just a pint of green ale.

Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest.

Written by  Sophie Edgerton.

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