Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Riding Through the Glen …

Robin Hood, Nottingham’s most famous son and the heroic outlaw in English Folk law, was known for ‘’robbing the rich and giving to the poor’’ and portrayed as living in Sherwood Forest. Despite being virtually on my doorstep I had never visited Sherwood Forest in the ten years that I have lived here. I went for the first time in January and now, it is one of my favourite places to walk.

It is a beautiful and tranquil place with magnificent ancient trees, many over 500 years old, (what have they seen in their lifetime?) including the famous Robin Hood’s Kings Oak, which is said to be around 1150 years old with a colossal 33’ waistline. Helped along with timber scaffolding to support her branches, she is still very beautiful with her lovely knobbly and knarled bark and branches.
The forest is also full of wildlife - birds, squirrels and deer as well as creepy crawlies that live in the dead trees, many of which are left purposely to rot where they fall to become home to the beetles, mosses and fungi.

Robin Hood's King Oak, though it is difficult to judge the  sheer scale of the tree from the photo.

A close up of the King's Oak

A forest of moss and lychin growing on fallen stumps .....

A beautiful ancient tree stump named Medusa by the Forestry Wardens who use it as a location marker when they are working in the forest. Many of the old trees or stumps have been given names.

Weather worn tree bases .....

Curly wurly branches
The leaves on the large trees are just starting to bud so still look bare but the birch trees are in full leaf and look like they are lit up from behnd.

A natural drinking hole for the wildlife formed in the base of a tree

The base of a tree is host to woodworm .....

A sea of silver birch trunks

Fungi growing on a fallen branch .....

A face in the grass

And finally ..... a rather rotund squirrel taking advantage of the nuts and seeds put out on the bird feeding stations provided throughout the forest.....

Happy May!

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