Monday, 21 March 2011

Sherwood Forest

We had a nice little day out at Sherwood on Thursday, currently the car park is free but from April 1st you have to pay… So I wanted to get a visit in before we would be charged.

I’d expected to see more growth as it’s a little further south than us, but it looks like the trees are pretty much the same – Hawthorn and Elder beginning to leaf up but little else happening.

The bare landscape is interesting in its own right, especially because it allows you to see the bones of the trees, the interesting knobbles and twists, of which there are many in Sherwood Forest.

There’s also plenty of broken branches, especially so after the heavy snow this winter.

Hawthorn, I love new Hawthorn leaves the most.

One of many piles of logs/branches, the keepers must have plenty of work at the moment!

Some interestingly twisted branches

Knobbly tree!

Pete did well with the Bird spotting, and spied numerous Treecreepers!

And the Major Oak, the tree famous for Robin Hood and urm… All that.

It has supports, I guess it’s too important for them to lose!

The tree It has amazing branches, I love how voluptuous they are…

A very knobbly tree!

For years the visitor centre has been run-down. I remember going as a child and thinking it was shockingly awful and needed updating. As a result I haven’t been since then, I must’ve been 10 or 11 at the time.
When we first visited back in January it was just as bad as back then. I popped to the bathroom and I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a public toilet as bad.
Thankfully they seem to be renovating, and I hope everything is much better, and in future I might actually suggest Sherwood as somewhere to visit, because for the past 18 years I’ve always told people not to bother.

Pete had a go at being arty with the camera… This is an old, rather ugly statue of Robin and Little John battling it out… See what I mean about it being in serious need of modernising? I wonder if these will see a lick of paint? Or perhaps a complete new statue, because these are just scary.

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Donna said...

what gorgeous unusual and interesting....much like I would guess it would be...

ShySongbird said...

Sounds like you had a pleasant visit Liz. There are some lovely old trees there, I bet they could tell a tale or two.

Great catch with the Treecreeper! Please send some my way, I shall have a very stiff neck soon if I spend much longer peering up tree trunks :)

VW said...

Amazing trees! Though it might be spooky around there in the dark :-) I look out my window at all my baby trees and just wish I had some old ones of my own . . .

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Some wonderful trees indeed. I love the twisted limbs and knobby barks. Gives them character.Our forest looks the same with so many trees and limbs down this winter.
Looks like a wonderful place for a walk and a visit.

Anna said...

Perhaps Robin and Little John are in need of some cosmetic surgery :) Would like to visit Sherwood some day - so much history.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Love those trees, how scraggly and twisted they are. When I saw the title of your post I had to pop right over. I've always wanted to see Sherwood Forest in real life. This was the next best thing. ;)

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

It's been years since I visited Sherwood many in fact, that I don't think the visitor centre was even there! Now I feel old! I do love the trees though, thanks for posting your visit. Just don't see oaks like that here.

On My Soapbox said...

The trees are beautiful! Love the "texture" and "form" photos. Gotta take what we can get during the barren part of the year.

Sam Sackett said...

Thanks for the pictures. The Major Oak appears in my novel The Robin Hood Chronicles; it's where Robin and Edward III meet before they go into the sheriff's castle arrest Roger de Mortimer.

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz, I love ancient woodland.
The old oak is just so beautiful,
and full of character.

Treecreepers are such pretty birds.....I do see them from time to time in the garden. Well spotted Pete.

I agree virgin hawthorn leaves are lovely......

Liz said...

Hi Donna,

The trees are interesting, in a melancholy way... I'm unsure if all are still alive or whether they're actually dead, but I do know the Major Oak is still alive.
I'll have to go back later in the year when the leaves are all out and see which trees leaf up.

Liz said...

Hi Jan,

It was quite nice, yes... A few school parties (don't like children, sorry), which was a surprise considering the time of year, so I am quite put off going when it's Summer. It was nice and warm this time, and there were lots of birds singing, Squirrels foraging and fighting!
Also lots of dogs; I really want a dog!

There were plenty of Treecreepers there, I was too busy taking shots of trees and Pete spotted a few! He's a twitcher at heart ;)
The photo isn't the best, because I had the wrong lens in - the macro lens but also good for portait type shots... Not so good for wildlife shots though :)

Liz said...

Hi VW,

I imagine it's very spooky in the dark, yes! I think they probably have night activities, especially over Hallowe'en and Bonfire Night (5th Nov, fireworks, etc)
I wish I had some nice mature trees here too, there is a large Cherry next door and some others in nearby gardens but they're a little too far away to feel close to my home.

Liz said...

Hi Lona,

It was very nice and relatively peaceful, a few school parties were around but it was generally very quiet and you could easily walk along and only hear birds singing.
I hear a lot of trees in the nearby Parks/Forests were lost or heavily damaged. Clumber Park which isn't far away from Sherwood also lost a lot of its large mature trees, it's a massive shame.

Liz said...

Hi Anna,

I think Robin and Little John need removing to be honest. I find them really grotesque and just scary to look at - even without the peeling paint! Lol. Would make far more sense to have a wooden sculpture or similar, considering they're in a forest... And with all the felled wood this Winter, there's plenty to go around!
There isn't actually much at visitor centre if I'm honest; a cafe, some small shops and I think an information centre.
There is a very nice village/town nearby called Edwinstowe that has a nice craft centre and some very pretty red brick cottagey type buildings.
But yes, Sherwood is probably something everyone ought to visit some day if only to be able to say they've been, and they've seen Major Oak. Growing up I always preferred to go to Rufford Abbey Park approx 2 miles from Sherwood. A nice lake, gardens, craft shops, old Abbey ruins and so on.

Liz said...

Hi Kate,

I'm glad you enjoyed your 'visit' to Sherwood! :)
It would be nice to see them make more of the centre and the forest in all. Perhaps they decided to leave it all quite natural and under-stated, I imagine there are lots of conservation orders and various other polices in the area meaning they cannot do a great deal to the woodland.

Liz said...

Hi CV,

Haha, I'm not sure when the visitor centre was built but I think it was within my lifetime. When I was young there was also a fair ground next door, with a massive helter-skelter... Rides gradually disappeared until even the the slide has now gone. Mum remembers the days when only the fairground was there, and of course made us play on the rides :D

Liz said...


Too true, I am sure everything will look much different in a month or two when all the trees have leaves and the ground doesn't look so barren!

Liz said...

Hi Sam,

Thanks for visiting my blog, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit.

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl,

I think they've had to interfere with Major Oak quite a lot, there's lead on it to stop water getting in and rotting the tree away, then there's all the poles holding up the branches, a large fence around it so you can't even get very close to it... Lol, bit of an anti-climax but I do love its branches.
No chance of Treecreepers here, glad to hear you occasionally see them!
I often get this strange 6th sense with some trees, where I look at them and think to myself 'this tree is perfect for treecreepers' and then low and behold, I see one! Very strange, and it's happened a number of times now!

Pete said...

some lovely trees!

Shady Gardener said...

It looks as though we're at the same point in the arrival of Spring as you. Lots to look forward to!