Monday, November 26, 2007

The forest of Robin Hood needs help

Sherwood Forest has a fascinating history and is the legendary home of Robin Hood. It's also in trouble.

AP reported earlier this month that the core of the forest, once covered about 100,000 acres, is currently about 450 acres.

Sherwood Forest is a Living Landmark and is one of the most famous forests in the world. It’s located at the heart of the UK between the major conurbations of Nottingham and Sheffield. It's association with the legend of Robin Hood, the legendary 13th century bandit who supposedly hid there from his nemesis, the Sheriff of Nottingham, in between stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.

According to the article, park rangers working say the collection of ancient oaks in the forest is one of the greatest in Europe. But they see an increase in the trees' rate of decline. Over the centuries, the forest was carved up for farms, mines, towns and logging. Sherwood timber built medieval ships and even part of London's St. Paul's Cathedral.

Currently 997 ancient oaks stand on the 450 acres known as the "beating heart of the forest." 450 of them are still living, and of those, 250 are good shape, while the other 200 are particularly vulnerable. The remainder are standing deadwood, still valuable to the forest because of the life they support.

Izi Banton, the forest's chief ranger, explains in the article that "the oaks and wildlife will become more vulnerable as long as they remain isolated from the rest of the forest. The rescue plan would focus on planting 250,000 trees to knit the parts of the forest back together."

Hopes are high that Sherwood Forest will win the grant from BIG Lottery, a branch of the National Lottery that gives out money to good causes. The lottery committee has shortlisted Sherwood and four other projects to vie for the $100 million.
The supporters of the forest believes it has enormous potential and Big Lottery Fund investment in this unique national asset could realise the long-standing vision for this project 'Sherwood: The Living Legend' which is:

To transform Sherwood Forest into a world-class sustainable destination and inspirational community resource, within which current and future generations can live, learn, play and prosper.

I hope they will win the grant and will be able to achieve their vision and save this beautiful legendry forest.

Raz @ Eco-Libris