It’s almost the Easter Holidays already and at Sherwood Forest they’re going large with dragons and giants.
This is no joke, but there is bags of stuff happening from Saturday 1 April.
We begin with the Dragon’s Quest Trail. The Easter Bunny has left the wrong sort of eggs in the Forest. Instead of chocolate ones, there are glittering dragon eggs to be found by sharp-eyed visitors. But finding them is only half of the challenge.
Find out more by picking up a trail sheet for just £3.50 at our Visitor Centre. The trail runs every day until Sunday 23rd April.
We’re hosting our first-ever iPhone Photography Workshop led by wildlife photographer Alex Wilkinson on the first day of the month too.
Alex will be demonstrating how you can get amazing images just by taking your iPhone with you out into the Forest – or any other area of the great British countryside.
You don’t need photography experience. Alex will be explaining how to ensure all the elements are in place – composition and lighting, etc. – and then analysing your shot, offering brilliant tips and advice to help capture the image you’re after.
Android phone users can also book the workshop, but please note that Alex’s advice will be focusing on the features of the iPhone.
The sessions cost £25 per person (£20 RSPB members).
As well as Dragons, April is also the time to Meet our Giants.
Take an expert-led guided walk along our Giants Trail on Sunday 2nd April, where you will find some of the oldest oak trees to be found anywhere in Europe, let alone Britain.
These trees provide some of the UK’s rarest habitats for nature and make Sherwood such as special place for wildlife.
Not only that, but some also have intriguing names and characters, that are steeped in the folklore of the Forest. All will be revealed.
The walk costs £7.50 per person (£6 RSPB members).
Then on 8th April, come along to Sherwood’s first Artisans Market, featuring makers specialising in a variety of goods.
There will also be a Willow-Weaving Taster Session with Edwinstowe artist David Evans. Get to grips with the technique of creating unique gifts or items for the home using purely natural materials. The sessions cost just £8 per person.
In the evening, you can get starry-eyed with a Stargazing event hosted by the Mansfield and Sutton Astronomical Society. Their members will be able to identify the features of the night sky that have always generated wonder.
There will also be talks and presentations about some of the latest developments in our understanding of the cosmos.
The event must be booked in advance and costs £20 per person (£15 RSPB members).
On 15th April, you can join David Evans once again for another of his workshops, this time to create a fantastic woven willow obelisk for the garden. All materials and instruction are provided to help you fashion a stylish natural new feature to train plants around.
The cost of the workshop (including materials and tuition) is £20 per person (£15 RSPB members).
On both Saturday and Sunday (15th and 16th April), the Sherwood Outlaws will be picking up their longbows at the Major Oak, demonstrating and talking about why it was such a feared weapon of war, and determining the outcome of fiercely contested battles, such as Agincourt in 1415.
We finish the month with a celebration of England’s patron saint, St George, on Sunday 23rd April. Join The Sherwood Outlaws for their Knight School sessions for 6–11-year-olds (£8.50 per person) and learn what it meant to prepare and go to battle for king and country in the Middle Ages.
There will be have-a-go archery and axe-throwing (£3 for 5 arrows or axes) and the Outlaws’ own special St George’s Day displays of Medieval weaponry and combat skills.
Children can also make themselves a souvenir by creating their own shield, decorated with designs of their choice, learning as they go about the importance of heraldry in the age of knights.
All events and activities are free unless stated. Admission to the reserve is also free and parking costs just £5 per day per vehicle (free for RSPB members).
For more information and to book, go online at www.visitsherwood.co.uk