Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Event - Writer's historic journey in the footsteps of Robin Hood

A STAPLEFORD writer is nearing the end of a journey exploring the historic boundaries of Sherwood Forest.

Dave Wood set out walking the ancient woodland on July 30 and is due to complete his journey on Saturday.

"It's all been an adventure," he said.

"Sometimes you have to force yourself to stop, because you are not noticing your surroundings anymore. So you nip into the nearest pub and chat with the people there.

"We have been through some forested areas and we have woken up at 6am to see the mist. It has been absolutely stunning to see."

Mr Wood's National Lottery-funded Creative Perambulations of Sherwood Forest project started at the Victoria Embankment, which was once part of the forest.

The previous major perambulation of Sherwood Forest was carried out in 1662 by a team of explorers intent on mapping the landscape.

Mr Wood's wanted to replicate the original journey, noting how the landscape has changed.

Walks have taken place in areas including Oxton, Burton Joyce, Lowdham and Colwick.

His project has seen him write about his experiences, explore the great outdoors and chat to the locals.

"Some places have been completely different," he added. "My route from Annesley to Skegby was completely industrial, and you almost wouldn't imagine it being part of Sherwood Forest."

The project has seen people join him on his travels, ranging from large groups to smaller numbers.

"We have had groups of 25, of 15, and once it was just me and a man with his dog," he said.

"But the interesting thing is the local people you meet, who just open their arms to you.

"I have had people telling me about things like mosaic monuments to old pits, and heard all about the heritage of all sorts of places.

"And sometimes you just discover surprising people.

"One bloke I met makes sculptures out in his allotment, but you wouldn't guess it."

He said the area had changed over time, but not always for the better.

"Some good things have disappeared," he added. "There used to be an old pit hill in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, and one of the blokes I spoke to said when mist set in it looked like a volcano because of the steam coming up.

"You also get areas of social deprivation, because the mining areas have just died out. But there are some beautiful, interesting areas."

The end of the project will be marked on Saturday with tree-planting ceremonies at Victoria Embankment and the Hook Nature Reserve, in Lady Bay, West Bridgford.

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