On Friday we planned to visit Sherwood Forest, photograph the oak trees and look for Robin Hood.
Sorry, I’m a bit late wth this – it’s so late on Saturday that it’s almost Sunday.
So much for my good intentions about being more organised and reliable. (And that’s before I reveal that I left my spare batteries at home and had to use the back-up camera).
Squirrel eating from a bird feeder
Robin in Sherwood Forest
Wood pigeon viewing the bird food
The plan was that we would get up early and make the best of the light, but their was no light, just a foggy murkiness. So we went back to sleep for another hour. By that time the light was a bit better so we set off for Sherwood Forest. It’s not quite as big as it once was. At one time it covered 115,000 acres: now the country park manages just 450 acres. Royal Forests once covered a third of southern England, including 100% of the counties of Essex and Huntingdonshire.
Fortunately a Royal Forest wasn’t full of trees, which would have made it very awkward for living and farming, they were just areas where Forest Laws took precedence over normal laws. This made life difficult, but still allowed for fields, grazing, marshes and other land without trees.
Strapping to hold an oak together
Ancient oak in Sherwood Forest
Sherwood in Winter
Anyway, in today’s country park there are around 1,000 ancient oaks, all looking to be on their last legs. Despite this they keep coming back year after year. The most famous is the Major Oak, around 800 – 1,000 years old and held up by a cradle of wood and iron. It was supposedly a hideout used by Robin Hood, but if it’s only 800 years old it would have only been an acorn at the time.
Holding up the Major Oak
This is just a selection of photos – as usual have managed to take too many!