There are whispers in the forest that the hooded man has returned and with each step you take into the heart of Sherwood Forest itself, it is easy to lose yourself in the legend that surrounds Nottinghamshire’s most famous outlaw, Robin Hood. The good news is that the rumours are true, as an exciting group of medieval costumers have re-taken the forest and are bringing history to life right before your very eyes.
The Sherwood Outlaws are a band of merry men and women and their aim is to breathe life back into the legend through live events, performances and appearances. Fresh from an appearance at Evesham’s Medieval market this September, the outlaws are now setting up camp closer to home and can’t wait to meet the fans of the legend and of Sherwood Forest.
Katie Ward, an outdoor education tutor who works at Sherwood under Notts Outdoors, appears regularly as Lady Marian. “I am lucky enough to work at Sherwood every day with schools and it was fantastic when The Sherwood Outlaws formed so I could be Marian in my spare time too. Marian is a strong willed and capable lady and she offers inspiration to many of the young minds that visit Sherwood.”
Some of the group volunteer for the RSPB at weekends and love to interact with the public. Each member has a forte, from historical knowledge, storytelling, performing and archery skills to woodwork and traditional crafts, the group is well rounded and can really give an insight into what life would have been like living as an outlaw.
Your favourite characters from the legends are all represented including your favourite merry men and, of course, the notorious Sherriff of Nottingham and his henchmen. Some of the lesser known characters also make an appearance at events including Much the Millers son and The Prioress of Kirklees. Ian Wallis is the Yeoman archer Ivar and offers the group guidance on archery and the long bow. He has amazing historical knowledge and his character has a great back story should you meet him in the forest.
Another of the group’s aims is to offer a creative outlet for their members. Luna, who portrays the healer and protector of the forest ‘Mawda’, is also a full-time carer for her husband. “Being an Outlaw is a great way for me to escape my everyday life,” she said. “For a few hours I can forget about things at home and bring the legend of Robin to life. I love history and Sherwood Forest, and this is the ideal way to enjoy both.”
So next time you are walking the pathways of the green wood, don’t be surprised if you bump into the Sherwood Outlaws and maybe you might be asked to join them in their fight for justice against the Sherriff and Prince John.
Images: © Dan Lord; Indy Greene