Posts Tagged ‘magical oak’

The Green Man and The Major Oak

A note about this post

This was a difficult post to write, and not just because it is one of the longest I have ever written. It has also taken the longest time to publish! It is the final post in my Nottinghamshire tales [see also: The Hobgoblin of Creswell Crags and The Beech of Clumber Park] , and was the most unexpected of all of the encounters. I say “unexpected”. Perhaps “unbelievable” is more the word. You will see why soon. Some people I have spoken to about it said that I shouldn’t post this information – that it was “just for me” perhaps. I understand why they said this, and I think it was out of concern for me. I appreciate their concern. Rest assured that within this forum I have nothing to protect any longer – those barriers have been down for a while now!

Nevertheless, when good people offer you warnings it is sensible to pay attention. Therefore I have been pondering how to write this post for more than a week and have decided to relate it just as it happened because my subsequent dowsing corroborated the events of the day. That’s good enough for me. If I am being deceived then everything I do must be a lie. I will leave the decision to your good selves on this one. Undoubtedly there is a psychological explanation that might explain things more fully, but that is for someone else to contribute. Here is the story, in its fullness, and without any euphemistic terminology. It’s long. Prepare yourself!

The Wasted Land

As I made my way from Nottingham towards Sherwood Forest I began to see signs that I was entering the land of lore and legend. The number of references to Robin Hood was startling. Every other pub seemed to be called “The Robin Hood”. Every other sign was pointing to something relating to him. “Robin Hood Concrete”, “The Robin Hood Stables”, “Robin Hood’s Knackers Yard”. I slightly exaggerate, but not by much. The commercial potential of the figure is ‘well utilised” shall we say?

Yet, the landscape did not match my expectations. On either side of the straight roads around Sherwood are just clumps of woodland punctuating gently inclining fields of agricultural land that are devoid of hedges or other living boundaries. It was all a bit….open, and…dull! Where were the vast forests that once covered the whole of this county and beyond it? Were these tiny clumps of scattered trees the only remaining bits? Surely not? The farther I drove the more I realised that they were the only remaining survivors of a once mighty landscape. Now the landscape was denuded, dulled and deadened.

The Robin Hood Inn - the heartland of Sherwood Forest

As I got closer to the legendary forest I felt an increasing sense of unease coupled with a sense of collective guilt. The sadness coming from the land mingled with the sense of loss I felt while driving through these claimed spaces was heart-breaking. I vowed to apologise for the greed and stupidity of my species first thing once I met some spirit of the trees. I knew instinctively that it would not be enough to make any kind of a difference, but it felt like a necessary first step to redemption.

Now I pulled into the car park at the forest. It felt exciting! A boyhood dream was about to be realised…

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