WAS he from Sheffield or Nottingham?
The debate over the origins of history’s most famous outlaw Robin Hood will probably never be settled.
But Star environmentalist and wildlife expert Professor Ian Rotherham of Hallam University has written a book on Sherwood Forest and The Dukeries and looks at the myths and the facts of that most fascinating of tales.
“I think Sherwood and the stories symbolise a global ideal but with the possibility that here it was real. The myth is classic good vs bad, small guy oppressed by the bad guy, good triumphs over evil etc. Sherwood and Robin Hood is where it all starts. There are aspirations for a Regional Park at Sherwood Forest but currently no funding. This is a fantastic regional brand with global significance and when it’s on your doorstep it’s easy to take it for granted.
“Walk through the older parts of Sherwood and you touch the past. It is a ‘wild’ landscape but also full of history and heritage too. My favourite feature of Sherwood must be the old trees – unique, irreplaceable, and in the case of the Major Oak, a remarkable global brand too and worth millions of pounds to the UK and the regional economies.
“Smaller areas than Sherwood Forest are already jeopardised by threats of sale and also by loss of key, skilled workers from the Forestry Commission and local authority Countryside Services. Many organisations lack skilled, experienced, conservation staff. A major threat is through abandonment of traditional management.”
So was Robin Hood From Sheffield? “Of course – ‘Robin of Loxley’,” added Prof Rotherham.
“I like to point out to friends from Nottingham that they had the bad guy!”