Can Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest be saved?

Can Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest be saved?

The famous Sherwood Forest is no longer what it used to be during the days of Robin Hood. The forest once covered about 100,000 acres but today the forest is merely 450 acres spread out through the county. If Robin Hood lived today he would have a hard time finding a place to hide in the Sherwood Forest.

The collection of ancient oaks in Sherwood is said to be one of the greatest in Europe. But unfortunately farms, mines, towns and logging have destroyed huge amounts of forest acres and now it seems that the remaining famous oaks will fall due to the increasingly warmer weather. And with the ancient oaks the wildlife that the oaks support will go down the same path.

“Now, the ravages of age — and, some fear, climate change — are taking their toll. On average one veteran oak per year would fall; this year seven have come down and the rate seems to be accelerating”, said Izi Banton, the forest's chief ranger in a recent AP interview.

But can the wildlife and the forest be saved? Austin Brady, the regional director of the East Midlands Conservancy Forestry Commission, thinks so. His plan involves planting 250,000 trees that can weave the different parts of the forest back together.

The problem is they need money to be able to plant these trees. While the UK government is busy doing far more important things the hopes are pointed towards BIG Lottery, a national lottery that gives out money to good causes. The Sherwood and four other projects have been listed to compete for $100 million.

"This lottery project is the biggest one that there's ever been," Brady said. "It's almost a once in a lifetime opportunity to get the forest back on track."

Image credit: Soylentgreen23. Image licensed under a

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Simon Leufstedt
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