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Sherwood Forest is a Royal Forest in Nottinghamshiremarker, Englandmarker, that is famous through its historical association with the legend of Robin Hood. Continuously forested since the end of the Ice Age, Sherwood is today reduced to a 423 square-kilometre (165 square-mile) remnant surrounding the village of Edwinstowemarker, the site of Thoresby Hallmarker. The wooded forest of today is a remnant of a much larger royal hunting forest, named as the "shire wood" of Nottinghamshire, which in fact extended into several neighbouring counties (shires), bordered on the west along the River Erewashmarker and the Forest of East Derbyshiremarker.
View of the Forest looking northeast
The Forestry Commission manages most of the forest and provides walks and trails and a host of other activities. Part of the forest was opened as a country park to the public in 1969 by Nottinghamshire County Council, which manages a small part of the forest under lease from the Thoresby Estatemarker. In 2002, a portion of Sherwood Forest was designated a National Nature Reserve by English Nature. In 2007 Natural England officially incorporated the Budby South Forest, Nottinghamshire's largest area of dry lowland heath, into the Nature Reserve, nearly doubling its size from 220 to 423 hectares. Some portions of the forest still retain many very old oaks, especially in the portion known as the Dukeries, south of the town of Worksopmarker, which was so called because it used to contain five ducal residences in proximity to one another. The River Idlemarker, a tributary of the Trent, is formed in Sherwood Forest from the confluence of several minor streams.

Sherwood Forest attracts 500,000 tourists annually, including many from around the world. Visitor numbers have increased significantly since the launch of the BBC's Robin Hood television series in 2006.

The park hosts the annual Robin Hood Festival for a week each summer. This event recreates a medieval atmosphere and features the major characters from the Robin Hood legend. The week's entertainment includes joust and strolling players, dressed in medieval attire, in addition to a medieval encampment complete with jesters, musicians, rat-catchers, alchemists and fire eater.
The legendary Major Oak

Major Oak

Sherwood Forest is home to the famous Major Oakmarker, which, according to local folklore, was Robin Hood's principal hideout. The oak tree is between 800 and 1,000 years old and, since the Victorian era, its massive limbs have been partially supported by an elaborate system of scaffolding. In February 1998, a local company took cuttings from the Major Oak and began cultivating clone of the famous tree with the intention of sending saplings to be planted in major cities around the world.

The Major Oak was featured on the 2005 BBC TV programme Seven Natural Wonders as one of the natural wonders of the Midlandsmarker.
Visitor Centre.


Thynghowe

Danelaw meeting place in Sherwood Forest. See English Heritage and Sherwood Forest sites[4926]Thynghowemarker[4927]

Plans

In early 2006 it was announced that major plans to transform the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre had been drawn up and are now complete.

Nottinghamshire County Council led a partnership which put in an unsuccessful bid for £50 million from the Big Lottery Fund's Living Landmarks competition. The project was selected by Big Lottery Fund assessors as one of four finalists.

See also



Notes

Further reading

  • Bankes, Richard. Sherwood Forest in 1609: A Crown Survey (Thoroton Society record series)
  • Conduit, Brian. Exploring Sherwood Forest
  • Fletcher, John. Ornament of Sherwood Forest From Ducal Estate to Public Park
  • Gray, Adrian. Sherwood Forest and the Dukeries (Phillimore) 2008
  • Sherwood Forest and the East Midlands Walks (Jarrold Pathfinder Guides)
  • Innes-Smith, Robert. The Dukeries & Sherwood Forest
  • Ottewell, David. Sherwood Forest in Old Photographs (Britain in Old Photographs)


External links




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