Where history happened: ancient forests

Charlotte Hodgman and Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough explore Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, an ancient woodland that for centuries nourished both body and imagination

Sunlight dapples a clearing in Sherwood Forest, which was an essential resource for peasants centuries before it became a tourist attraction (Photo by Alamy)

This article was first published in the July 2018 edition of BBC History Magazine

With its lush greenery and cool shade, Sherwood Forest is a verdant oasis in the heart of Nottinghamshire. Above me, boughs rustle gently in a light breeze and birds chirp their merry song in the sunshine. Sherwood Forest country park is now part of the larger Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, which is home to 900 veteran oak trees, including the Major Oak. This arboreal behemoth is said by some to be over 1,000 years old – and its greenery, according to folklore, hid Robin Hood and his Merry Men from the Sheriff of Nottingham.

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