See pictures as the Robin Hood Festival returns to Sherwood Forest

Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham accompany, Nottingham County Council chairman, Coun. Sue Saddington and the regional director of the RSPB, Emma Marsh, to the opening ceremony of the Robin Hood Festival  2018.
Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham accompany, Nottingham County Council chairman, Coun. Sue Saddington and the regional director of the RSPB, Emma Marsh, to the opening ceremony of the Robin Hood Festival 2018.

The new visitor centre at Sherwood Forest Nature Reserve got its first taste of tradition this week when the annual Robin Hood Festival returned to the forest.

The site was taken over by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds earlier this year, and opened its new visitor centre to the public just three weeks ago.

Old rivalries kick off at the launch of the 2018 Robin Hood Festival.

Old rivalries kick off at the launch of the 2018 Robin Hood Festival.

The festival, which began on Monday and runs until Sunday, September 2, features a range of family attractions – and with the new visitor centre, now under the control of the RSPB, this year’s festival also features a number of interactive nature-based activities inside the forest.

These include nature trails and activities centred around oak tree life cycles, celebrating the history of the famous Major Oak.

Gemma Howarth, senior site manager, said: “We had a fantastic start to the festival on bank holiday Monday, with thousands of visitors flooding in to look at our new visitor centre and enjoy the first day of the event.

“We’ve got a full programme each day for the rest of the week and we look forward to welcoming more Robin Hood fans to the legend’s home.”

Crowds cheer on their hero at the Robin Hood Festival which launched on Monday.

Crowds cheer on their hero at the Robin Hood Festival which launched on Monday.

Monday’s opening ceremony saw a range of eye-catching displays on show for guests, including a re-enactment scene at the new outdoor amphitheatre between Robin Hood, his merry men and the Sheriff of Nottingham himself.

The rest of the festival promises excitement, with performances, re-enactments, music and nature walks taking place tomorrow and Friday, while Saturday will see a puppet show and a number of skirmish reenactments. Sunday will see the festival come to a close with the finale.

Maid Marion, aka Jessica Cresswell, wins a young fan, 5 year old Francesca Cresswell.

Maid Marion, aka Jessica Cresswell, wins a young fan, 5 year old Francesca Cresswell.

The Sheriff tries some intimidation tactics on a new recruit.

The Sheriff tries some intimidation tactics on a new recruit.

Robin Hood joins battle with an adversary at the 2018 Festival which launced on Monday at the new RSPB centre.

Robin Hood joins battle with an adversary at the 2018 Festival which launced on Monday at the new RSPB centre.

Arch enemies, Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham prepare to lock horns again at the opening ceremony of the Robin Hood Festival 2018.

Arch enemies, Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham prepare to lock horns again at the opening ceremony of the Robin Hood Festival 2018.

Young Robin Hood fans wait in the wings to help out if needed.

Young Robin Hood fans wait in the wings to help out if needed.

Entertainers woo the crowd at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Robin Hood Festival which starred the new RSPB centre as a back drop.

Entertainers woo the crowd at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Robin Hood Festival which starred the new RSPB centre as a back drop.

Entertainers woo the crowd at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Robin Hood Festival which starred the new RSPB centre as a back drop.

Entertainers woo the crowd at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Robin Hood Festival which starred the new RSPB centre as a back drop.

Entertainers woo the crowd at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Robin Hood Festival which starred the new RSPB centre as a back drop.

Entertainers woo the crowd at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Robin Hood Festival which starred the new RSPB centre as a back drop.