The love story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian has captivated audiences for years – but now eagle-eyed nature lovers are being invited to join in the search for the scarce amount of mistletoe which grows in Sherwood Forest.
For among the thousands of oak trees and other flora and fauna at Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, are two lone lime trees – and mistletoe has found it an agreeable habitat to grow on both of the trees in recent years.
Participants who take part in a series of festive walks this season at the forest with Nottinghamshire County Council rangers will see the mistletoe as part of their adventure into the forest.
Nottinghamshire County Council’s Learning and Events officer Gary Joynt said: “It is interesting that despite the huge swathes of oak trees we have a tiny amount of mistletoe growing in the forest as well. With the Christmas season it is of interest to our visitors and adds some interest and intrigue to our walks.
“We make sure that we show visitors where the lime trees and the mistletoe are among the other attractions and it is a nice theme, especially at this time of year.”
It is thought that the lime trees, each over 200 years old, may initially have been planted to act as boundary points by Sherwood’s landowners in the past.
Both trees are sited around half a mile from the Major Oak, with one at Assart’s Plantation and the other at Assart’s Field. The mistletoe itself has been growing on both trees for a number of years but in each case is quite high up in each tree.
For more information about walks at Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, Rufford Abbey Country Park and Bestwood Country Park this festive season, visit the Nottinghamshire County Council website: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/whatson