Robin Hood was a famous English bandit, who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Now, maybe he never existed, and most likely he is just a mythical figure to give oppressed early medieval people some hope, but even so, there is one location that has always been associated with the character and his band of rough but fair bandits. In Nottingham in the UK, there is a huge expanse of forest known as Sherwood Forest (almost 4.5 square kilometres), that supposedly hid Robin Hood and his band of merry men when they needed to escape from the evil Sheriff of Nottingham!
These woods have existed in this location in the north of England for more than 10,000 years at least and used to cover a massive area, used by royalty for hunting parties. Now the forest is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) with more than 50 indigenous species of fauna and flora that are conserved in the area.
I think it's an underappreciated part of the natural beauty of the UK, but the forests of the area are often incredible. They are not the scale or size of US forests, but neither is the country. What they lack in size I believe they more than make up for in magic!
Because our 'climate' in the UK is generally wet and rainy, forests grow thick and strong year round in many places. And so walking through Sherwood Forest is like being in another time period. Watch a few Robin Hood versions, and then when you stroll along the ancient paths and roads and don't see a car or building for hours, you will find it remarkably easy to imagine an archer popping out from behind one of the trees and taking your money!
The forest also contains what was voted as the best tree in the entire UK, and in the village of Edwinstowe you can find the Major Oak tree. This 23 ton giant supposedly was home to Robin Hood and his men, and has been watching over the forest for over 1000 years. This tree was standing when Angkor Watt was built, when the very first European universities were founded and maybe even during the Norman Conquest of Britain.
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