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Dave Woods Perambulation of Sherwood Forest

Sherwood Forest couple with dog on path

Last week, we introduced a very special project that Dave Wood, Nottinghamshire poet, undertook to walk the 1662 boundary of Sherwood Forest. In this second and final part of the series, Dave talks about the special experiences during his two week walk:


My partner said that only I could have come up with the idea of re-vitalising the beating of the boundarys with poetry, story and some degree (one hopes) of fun. The biggest headache is always the administration; project management by any other title.  So I won’t talk about that; though even that has had its touching and revelatory moments.

Here’s a few of the heart tinglers that I’ve come face to face with on my very ordinary adventure. More information can be garnered by looking at my own blog.

The ACCESS group in Anneseley organised 20 walkers, a walk the next day, a workshop and a pub quiz.   One of its members also presented me with walking stick.  The group is currently opposing a planning application to turn a woodland area into a housing development.

I discovered geo-caching; it’s all about secreting things for other people to find in trees/behind fences/anywhere; the discoverer finds it via GPS, signs its register and pops it back in the hidey hole; we left haiku in there.

My adventure in Clumber Park at 6am watching the mist on the ground and the sun rise. Stunning.

Not allowed in Welbeck Estate and so missing a big section of the original walk

Running a workshop on Robin Hood Hill and the Iron Age Hill Fort near Oxton with the Newark and District Young Archaeologists

Camping in Combs Wood around a real fire and being shown 1,000 year old lime trees that have bent over and reset themselves.

Discovering the Caythorpe book swap; a converted telephone box now full of bulging bookshelves.

Discovering that Annesley to Skegby is 95 percent fast road walking – along unforgiving tarmac

Being told story of couple wanting to get married in a particular church but it was on the wrong side of the river; so they re-built it (St Chads at Pleasely Vale).

Planting baby Major oaks on Victoria Embankment and the Hook Nature Reserve

Listening to people talk passionately about their area.

Walking in mid October in the blazing heat; crossing fields was like traversing the Gobi

Discovering a sculpture trail on someone’s allotment

Sitting at the foot of the Maypole at Wellow, knowing that it took one day to raise the funds to replace the whole lot.

Being sent a book on Nottinghamshire from an elderly man I’d never met before but had heard about the project and was fascinated.

Seeing a Kestrel near Combs Wood

Being given a hot chocolate in the bookshop at Lowdham because there was nowhere to keep warm that time in the morning

Encouraging creativity from walkers and noting the surprises on peoples’ faces when they’d produced poetry the first time since school.

Finally, knowing that in three years time, I would be doing it again, with or without funding.

There are now two trees planted in honour of the completed task, both are grown from the Major Oak by adults with learning needs. Their future funding may be on rocky ground; it would seem cruel of fate to let it go.

Posted on 09 December 2011
Featured author: Dale Web Marketing Officer

A Mansfield lad who likes reading, running and red wine.

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