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Tree dressing, Sparkling Sherwood and other events in Nottinghamshire’s Country Parks


Two popular winter events will be taking place at Sherwood Forest Country Park in the next week.

Both the annual Tree Dressing event – being held this Sunday – and Sparkling Sherwood evenings at the country park celebrate our natural history as part of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Christmas programme.

The events are just two great ideas for your leisure time at Nottinghamshire’s country parks this festive season – including Sherwood Forest, Rufford Abbey and Bestwood country parks.

Councillor John Knight, Committee Chairman for Culture, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The next few weeks have plenty in store for everyone to celebrate the forthcoming Christmas season, at our country parks, including Christmas trails where you can explore the natural beauty of the great outdoors and children can have fun looking for clues – and of course the ever popular Dog Grotto at Sherwood Forest!

“There are also exciting Santa’s Grottos which will once again be at Sherwood and Rufford Abbey at weekends in the run up to Christmas.”

Highlights include: Tree Dressing – an ancient tradition surviving throughout the world which takes place between  Autumn and early Winter.

Izi Banton, Nottinghamshire County Council Site Manager at Sherwood Forest explains more: “Its origins are rooted in the Green Man legends of ancient times and the importance that humans placed on the provisions of nature.

“Our ancestors held Tree Dressing events to give thanks for the harvest and to look forward to the coming of Spring and new growth. Today this ancient custom helps to remind us of the value of trees to both humans and wildlife. As some of the longest living and largest life forms on Earth, they help to keep our planet healthy and provide a valuable home for countless species of wildlife, particularly in ancient woodland such as here in Sherwood Forest.

“Deciduous trees, such as the Oak also help us to keep in touch with the seasons with their constantly changing foliage. Likewise, the shapes within trees such as the Major Oak excite our imagination and are full of cultural, inspirational and historic interest.

“Tree Dressing Day usually takes place in the first weekend in December and aims to encourage the  celebration of trees in both the countryside and urban areas together with reminding us of our  responsibility for looking after these wildlife wonders!”

In honour of this tradition, a tree within the visitor centre courtyard will be dressed as part of a fun family event this coming Sunday (Dec 4) with colourful ribbons and lights.

Sparkling Sherwood – this year’s winter lighting event takes place in the evenings from December 9 – 11, and was first held three years ago to help mark the country park’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. The event, being organised in conjunction with The Sherwood Forest Trust and supported by Awards for All, is a unique trail with entry by ticket only in order to make the event as safe and enjoyable for visitors as possible.

The Major Oak is one of the ancient oaks to be simply lit to showcase the remarkable form and texture of the trees.

Other events include:

Bestwood Country Park

Bestwood in Winter
Sunday 4 December, 10.30am to 12 noon
Bestwood Country Park and Winding Engine House
Join one of our rangers on a guided winter walk around some of the less familiar parts of Bestwood Country Park reflecting a diverse range of habitats and species that call the park there home. Please wear suitable footwear as the walk will go directly through areas of the park only accessible via desire lines which are often muddy and uneven.
This walk involves steep gradients and is not suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs or people with mobility issues.

Rufford Abbey County Park

Christmas Trail
From now until – Friday 23 December 2016 10.30am to 3.30pm
This is a self-guided trail; Santa and his elves are celebrating the 12 days of Christmas at the North Pole, but as they came through the park they lost all their directions. Following clues, find your way through the park to the mill and collect your chocolate reward. This trail does cross grassy areas.

Santa’s Grotto
On all weekends through to December 18 then December 19 until Friday 23 December 2016 11am to 4pm £5.00
Come and enjoy the Magic of Christmas with a visit to Santa Claus. Includes a visit with Santa and a small gift. Weekends only through the 18 December and then 19-23 (Monday-Friday)   Children must be accompanied by an adult, last entry 3:45pm. No need to book.

A Children’s Tale
Saturday 10 December, 4.30pm to 6.30pm, repeated on Sunday 11 December, Saturday 17 December and Sunday 18 December. Join us for an evening of magic in our woodland hide away. Come and listen to the old man of the woods whilst he tells you a tale full of Christmas spirit. Event involves a short walk into the woodland, please dress warmly with suitable footwear and bring a torch. Not suitable for people with mobility issues. Not suitable for under 4’s. Advance booking is essential. Tickets are £5 and available from Tourist Information or call 01623 821338.

Hucknall and Linby Brass Band
Sunday 11 December 2016 2pm to 4pm. Hucknall and Linby brass band will be returning to Rufford’s courtyards this December after their successful summer performance. They will be playing a host of sensational music to get visitors in the mood for Christmas.

Paul Temple – Entertainer
Sunday 11 December 2016 2pm to 4pm. New to our Christmas programme and following on from his success at Rufford this summer, Paul Temple will be returning to entertain all who are waiting to see Santa in his grotto

QM Barbershop Quartet
Sunday 18 December 2016 2pm to 4pm.  This male barbershop quartet are becoming a regular feature on Rufford’s Christmas calendar. Now In their 3rd year they will be musically setting the Christmas scene as The Big Day draws near.

Freddie the Magician
Sunday 18 December 2016 2pm to 4pm. Free. Freddie proved very popular at last year’s grotto with his particular brand of magic and amusing tales so we invited him back again to entertain you whilst you wait to see Santa down at his grotto.

Sherwood Forest Country Park

Santa’s Grotto
Weekends until Sunday 18 December 10am to 4pm £5.00. Come and share in the magic of Christmas with a visit with Santa Claus himself. Spend a few minutes telling Santa Claus all your wishes and receive a small gift as well. All children must be accompanied by an adult, last entry 3:45pm.

Christmas Trail
From now until Christmas on every Saturday and Sunday – 11am to 3pm £1.00.
Enjoy some of the forest’s midwinter magic on this self-guided weekend trail around the Major Oak path, with a ‘sweet’ reward for all those who complete the clues!

Tree Dressing
Sunday 4 December 2016 11.30am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm. Free. A seasonal highlight in Sherwood’s Christmas calendar. Join in the ancient custom of Tree Dressing, and where better to celebrate the wonder of trees than in one of England’s most famous forests. The Visitor Centre lights switch on will take place at 4:15pm, once the tree has been dressed with all the decorations.

Sparkling Sherwood
Friday 9 – Sunday 11 December 2016 6pm to 8pm Winter lighting event. See Sherwood’s ancient oak trees in a whole new light, literally, as we invite you to take a walk through the illuminated forest – a truly magical start to winter and a memorable experience to treasure. The walk route is approximately one mile. Timed entry tickets – 6pm, 6.15pm, 6.30pm, 6.45pm & 7pm. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance, available from October 1st. For more information call 01623 823202. Subject to booking fee. Tickets £3 per person.

Dog Grotto
Saturday 17 – Sunday 18 December 11am – 12.30pm and 2pm – 3pm – minimum of £2 donation per dog.  No we haven’t gone barking mad, but knowing how much so many of our regular visitors love their pooches, we thought it was about time they had the chance to treat their canine companions to their very own visit to Santa Paws! All proceeds will be donated to Jerry Green Dog Rescue.

Christmas Eve Walk
Saturday 24 December 2016 11am to 12.30pm £3.00 (concessionary: Children £1.50). Escape the hustle and bustle of high street shopping and the last minute Christmas rush, and enjoy a gentle stroll with a ranger through the ancient glades of Sherwood, looking for winter wildlife and discovering about this legendary forest. Pre-booking essential.

Boxing Day Walk

Monday 26 December 11.30am – 1pm. If your head’s a bit fuzzy or you think you may have overdone the excesses of the festive period, this is your chance to breathe in some fresh air and get your legs working again! Booking is recommended on 01623 823202 or simply turn up and pay on the day. Adults £3 children £1.50

New Year Walk                                                                                                                     Sunday 1 January 10.30am – 12.30pm. Why not start 2017 with a winter wander through Sherwood Forest and learn more about its amazing trees and its fascinating history.
£3.00 Adults, £1.50 Children.

For more details visit: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/events

Posted on 02 December 2016

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