A walk in Sherwood Forest (yes, that Sherwood Forest), Nottinghamshire, England, 5 June 2013
What remains of the ancient Royal Forest is now a National Nature Reserve, which includes a country park and visitor centre maintained by the Nottinghamshire County Council. We paused there late in the afternoon on our drive from Stratford to York — an opportunity to escape the highway and its traffic, to stroll on paths through the Green Wood, to gaze a bit at the works of nature, and perhaps to commune for a moment or two with the spirit of Robin Hood, ’cause this is where he lived, right?
The Laughing Tree
“Protector of the forest and bringer of laughter and joy to the Green Wood”
By local artist Richard Fowler
The forest is full of huge trees, scarred by age,
their limbs gnarled and broken by unknown events of long-ago,
and, in places, buried in dense undergrowth.
After a while we came to the Major Oak. Local tradition holds that Robin Hood and his band maintained their hideout here, in a hollow in this 800-year-old tree’s trunk. It makes a nice story, and for the moment I choose not to examine it too critically.