Over the two week October half term, it was great to witness the young (and those young at heart ) following in the legend of Robin Hood. Some would be dressed in Lincoln Green, occasionally looking out for the Sheriff’s men. For many it’s a family occasion, not only reminiscing their own childhood visits but “lmagination Sharing” – being the Merry Men once more!
I walked around the Oak Giants with two grandparents and their grandson. He became wonderfully excited and slightly spooked as he gazed at each Ancient Oak tree that appeared to watch him with their menacing arms. For this eight year old, the visit to Sherwood was not because of Robin Hood. No, it was the legends that are the Ancient Oaks, that invoked his imagination.
“Thousands have passed me by… How many more will I see before I fall?
On Sunday, David and June from Bishop Stortford booked a tour with myself around the Hidden World of Sherwood. This was their first visit to Sherwood. We had a pleasant walk beyond the Major Oak taking in the beautiful autumnal sunshine highlighting the wide array of fungi. Like the boy, our imagination added to our journey. June stopped to take a photograph of fungi.
“I will do a pen and wash drawing when I get back home,” she said. For her the enjoyment of the woodland walk, sparked her creativity.
Bathed in the atmosphere we probably shared with our ancestors a common imagination that people have been creating for thousands of years.
I wonder what stories our ancestors told or art shared in the mediaeval Sherwood. We know that Victorians visited to experience the green woods romantically captured by novelists such as Walter Scott’s “Ivanhoe”.
It seems that the Ancient Oaks are a catalyst. So when you visit Sherwood Forest you never know whee re your imagination takes you.