Major makes the Queen’s Green Canopy list

The Major Oak, the iconic tree which stands at the heart of the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, is one of seventy ancient trees to be included in the Queen’s Green Canopy.

The oak, believed to be more than 1,000 years old, is closely associated with the outlaw Robin Hood, who, legend has it, used Sherwood Forest as a refuge from the Sheriff of Nottingham.

The Queen’s Green Canopy is part of the upcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations to mark Her Majesty’s 70th year as monarch. The naming of the ancient trees is part of a project to encourage new trees to be planted across the UK.

Sherwood Forest, which is one of 170 reserves managed by the UK’s largest conservation charity, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), has two trees included in the list. An ancient crab apple tree near to the Visitor Centre has also been named among the final selection.

Gemma Howarth, Senior Site Manager for RSPB Sherwood Forest and Budby South Forest, said: “We’re delighted that Sherwood Forest, the home of the legend of Robin Hood, has not one but two ancient trees which have been included in the Queen’s Green Canopy.

“This is a wonderful way to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee and, as the custodians of hundreds of ancient and wonderful oak trees, we at RSPB Sherwood Forest and Budby South Forest hope this initiative inspires people to want to learn more about ancient woodlands.

“We are fortunate at Sherwood to have a tree as iconic as the Major Oak still standing after more than 1,000 years.

“It’s connection with Robin Hood’s legend reminds us that these trees don’t just have an incredible natural history but a cultural one too.

“These woodlands also have an important future as ecologically important landscapes for many different species of insects, birds and mammals, fungi and spiders, as well as for humans. It’s imperative we treat our ancient trees with the respect they have earned and continue to give them protection they need.”

Read about the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative.

Find out more about the Major Oak.