Nottinghamshire is the most northerly of all the East Midlands counties, and known of course to being home of Sherwood Forest, where Robin Hood and his merry men would steal from the poor, to give to the rich (modern politics appears to do the complete opposite). Major Oak (a tree that has stood for 800 to 1000 years) is thought to have been his hideout place. With branches so big that scaffolding is now needed, to keep him upright! This tree is now classed as one of the natural wonders of England (others include Jurassic Park, St Michael’s Mount, the Lake District and Holy Island).
The village of Laxton is the only one remaining in England that still practices open field strip farming, a practice that has almost disappeared over the last 1000 years. It divides parcels of land between villagers (a bit like a community shop or co-operative supermarket version of farmland) so everyone has access to equal share of food. Unlike today when a tiny minority of people own our land.
We could do with returning to the old ways! In Yorkshire, Cumbria and Northumberland, some farmers still count sheep with the ‘Yan Tan Tethera’ method. A shepherd counts to 20, then moves his hand to another mark on his crook (5 score sheep = 100). It then becomes a sheep-counting song (Yan, Tyan, Tan, Tethera, Methera).
Also in these parts you’ll find Little John (Big Ben’s little brother!) that strikes hourly in Nottingham City Hall. It’s the 5th heaviest bell in England with a deep E-flat tone, that can be heard up to 7 miles away.