The legendary ancient oak within the heart of Sherwood Forest has borne witness to some of the most romantic tales and gripping events in its long, glorious and colourful history.
It has stood firm through two World Wars, countless other conflicts and withstood everything that Mother Nature has thrown at it over the centuries. Legend has it that it was the famous hideout for Robin Hood and his Merry Men to hide from the Sheriff of Nottingham. And now it has Europe in its sights as it challenges for European Tree of the Year as part of a public vote throughout February.
The tree – estimated to be between 800 and 1,000 years old – is in the heart of Sherwood Forest country park which is managed by Nottinghamshire County Council, and forms part of Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve.
Councillor John Knight, Committee Chairman for Culture, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The Major Oak touches people’s hearts and their imagination. We were delighted that it won the Woodland Trust’s England Tree of the Year title in December and hope that everyone can get behind our campaign to win this prestigious European title.
“It could be a one-off opportunity to compete for this European title, so we appeal to everyone to get behind Sherwood Forest and the Major Oak. It is one of the most iconic and best known trees in the world and it would be a fitting tribute if it could win this European award.”
‘Captures the imagination’
Izi Banton, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Site Manager for Sherwood Forest country park, added: “I love its durability and the way people react to it. This tree perhaps like no other captures the imagination instantly and it is this I think, and the part it plays in raising the profile of ancient and special trees, which is why the Major Oak deserves to be European tree of the Year. Please vote Major Oak!”
With support from the Woodland Trust, the Sherwood Forest Trust and Experience Nottinghamshire, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Major Oak is competing with trees from Scotland, Wales and another 11 countries for the title of European Tree of the Year, which is managed by the Environmental Partnership Organisation. The tree with the most public votes at the end of February will win.
To place your vote in the competition visit www.treeoftheyear.org between February 1 and February 28.