This Old Tree

The Major Oak of Sherwood Forest

March 13, 2023 Doug Still Season 1 Episode 12
This Old Tree
The Major Oak of Sherwood Forest
Show Notes

Sherwood Forest in the County of Nottinghamshire lays claim to a world famous tree, The Major Oak. It may well have harbored Robin Hood and his merry men, or perhaps people like them. Admirers from all over the world visit the beloved English oak, drawn by the legend.  

Two guests from the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve help describe why the tree is so special. One is Paul Cook, the Warden tasked with maintaining the woodland and the landscape. The other is the Sheriff of Nottingham, or, that is, Richard Townsley, a tour guide and local authority on Robin Hood. There’s an aura around this tree thanks to the legend, but the allure and lasting popularity of England's arboreal icon has become about so much more. 

Paul Cook
Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, RSPB

Richard Townsley
Tour Guide - Sheriff of Nottingham
Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, RSPB

Consulting Editor
David Still, II

Nigel Holmes
(excerpts from The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle, edited by Jonathan Kelley, The Townsend Press, Inc.)

Recorder Musicians
David Bor
Kim Wass

Recorder Music
Light of love," Anonymous
"When that I was and a little tiny boy," anonymous Shakespearean stage tune
"When lo, by break of morning," Thomas Morley, 1595
"It was a lover and his lass," Thomas Morley, 1600
"Tres douce dame que j’aour," Guillaume de Machaut, 14th c.
"We Be Soldiers Three," Thomas Ravenscroft, 1609

Special thanks to:
Rob James, Sherwood Forest

Photo credit
Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, RSPB

Theme Music
Diccon Lee,

Dahn Hiuni,

Transcripts available.

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This episode was written in part at LitArts RI, a community organization and co-working space that supports Rhode Island's creators.

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