400 years ago, the Mayflower Pilgrims left England and set out for America. A number of the most influential and important Pilgrims came from North Nottinghamshire and to mark its seminal place in the Mayflower story, the Sherwood Forest Trust will be planting 400 oaks at Hodsock Priory – one for each year since that historic sea voyage. With the kind permission of landowner, Sir Andrew Buchanan, the Trust will establish the ‘Pilgrim Plantation’.
Dr Patrick Candler of the Sherwood Forest Trust explains: “We wanted to commemorate the role of Nottinghamshire in the Mayflower story and what better way than to use the most noted of our county’s natural resources. The oak is the most emblematic English tree, famed for its beauty, strength and longevity. And the Pilgrim story shows how from ‘little acorns’ as they say, great things can grow.
“We are hugely grateful to Sir Andrew, who is allowing us to plant Pilgrim Oaks here in North Nottinghamshire and are delighted that this planting can be seen not only as a reminder of the past – but also as an eye to the future when, in 100 year’s time, our successors can celebrate what we have done today.
“The Trust also appreciates the financial support given by Bassetlaw District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council to enable us to organise this project.”
Patrick urges anyone who thinks they may be descended from the Mayflower Pilgrims, or who comes from one of the North Midland places associated with them, to consider donating to help plant more Pilgrim Oaks via www.sherwoodforest.org.uk/sherwood-forest-supporter.