Guest column: Festival is upon us by Councillor John Knight

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Thousands of people are
 expected to visit Sherwood Forest to celebrate the nation’s favourite tree at the Major Oak Woodland Festival this weekend (September 12 and 13).

The Major Oak, which is aged between 800 and 1,000 years old, is the current holder of the Woodland Trust’s England Tree of the Year title, and will be celebrated alongside 
traditional and modern woodland crafts at the festival both days between 11am and 4pm each day.

We are organising the event with The Sherwood Forest Trust and have a busy programme of events with 
storytellers, stallholders, craftspeople and demonstrations. The festival is being sponsored this year by Robert Woodhead Ltd and Edwinstowe House.

Visitors can marvel at the skills of bodging (bodgers used unseasoned wood and hand tools to make chairs and household objects made of wood) with Bryan Eskriett from Ollerton and Blidworth-based Forest to Furniture – both of whom featured on BBC Countryfile this summer as part of a programme promoting Nottinghamshire’s famous Major Oak and associated woodland crafts.

Other confirmed attendees among 50 different organisations at the Major Oak Woodland Festival include:

· Peter Wood, one of the country’s leading pole lathe turners, who uses traditional skills to turn ash wood into finely crafted chair legs for furniture

· Green Estate Ltd will be providing the ever popular horse logging demonstration

· Storytellers including Wild Man of the Woods Barry Patterson – Britain’s most travelled Green Man who proved a real hit with the crowds last year and newcomer Sophie Snell

· Gary Hackett, who makes hand crafted Bushcraft and Woodcraft knives and other tools using traditional methods

The Major Oak Woodland Festival gives everyone a great opportunity to explore its wonderful surroundings, enjoy captivating stories 
about the forest and learn more about both modern 
and traditional woodland crafts.

Visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/whatson for more information.

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