Now, not being renown for scepticism and pessimism, I was looking forward to it...no sorry, BEING renown for scepticism and pessimism I was not looking forward to it and it lived up to all of my expectations. You see the problem is a lot of places are spending a lot of money on visitor centres, Shorne Woods and Bedgebury in the south of England, and the new centre at Edinburgh Botanic Garden, whereas the Sherwood Forest centre may have had a lot of money spent on it (and the information film was very good and the shop and people very friendly and helpful) and it may be that it is meant to look like Robin Hood's hat, but architecturally it doesn't really do it for me. I guess I've become accustomed to seeing timber and glass constructions and to see what looked like a dark green corrugated hut, well...!
But when you get into the forest it is a gem. The lower storey of plants is all ferns and it is the first time I think I have been in an oak and birch forest. Normally we see the odd oak interspersed with lots of other species in the south, but to be the dominant species underplanted with ferns is something to see especially as the ferns are now beginning to change colour.
The only sad thing for me was the Major Oak, where Robin Hood and his Merry Men are supposed to have hid. Somewhere in the visitor centre it says 'it takes 300 years for an oak to grow, 300 years for it to live and 300 years for it to die'. The only problem is the people who govern this forest are not allowing it to die. They are artificially keeping it alive by propping it up. Take away the props and let nature take its course otherwise you may as well just have fake plastic trees.