Major fun at woodland festival

Major Oak taken by Mark Bowers 28 John Calvert Road Woodhouse Sheffield S13 7PW
Major Oak taken by Mark Bowers 28 John Calvert Road Woodhouse Sheffield S13 7PW

Thousands of people are expected to visit Sherwood Forest to celebrate the nation’s favourite tree as part of the Major Oak Woodland Festival.

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 this weekend’s festival.

Dr Patrick Candler, chief executive of the Sherwood Forest Trust, a joint-organiser of the festival alongside Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The Major Oak Woodland Festival offers a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the beauty and the wonder of the Sherwood Forest, but also to appreciate how it has supported livelihoods throughout the ages.

“There will be a fantastic array of traditional and modern woodland crafts and skills displayed, together with stalls and activities to attract and interest all visitors.”

Among those who will be showcasing their talents at the festival will be 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, and Gary Hackett, of Mansfield-based Hackett of Sherwood, who makes hand-crafted bushcraft and woodcraft knives and other tools using traditional methods with oak and yew wood handles.

Bodging - the art of using unseasoned wood and handtools to make chairs and household objects - will be showcased by Bryan Eskriett, from Ollerton, and Blidworth-based Forest to Furniture.

Storytellers include 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

Councillor John Knight, Nottinghamshire County Council culture committee chairman, said: “The 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.”

The free festival runs from 11am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday, September 12 and 13.