Sherwood Oak tree planted to commemorate the Pilgrims of Nottinghamshire

Apr 01, 2021

Some four centuries ago, the Mayflower left England to sail for North America.

A number of the most influential and important Pilgrims came from North Nottinghamshire.

To mark the county's seminal place in the Mayflower story, the Sherwood Forest Trust planted a commemorative oak at Babworth Church - where William Brewster and Rev. Richard Clifton would have delivered their sermons some 400 years ago.

Dr Patrick Candler, of the Sherwood Forest Trust, explained: "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."

Sir Jack Whitaker and Cllr Mike Quigley from Nottinghamshire County Council plant the Sherwood Oak at Babworth. Picture courtesy of Sherwood Forest Trust

The Trust is very grateful for the kind permission of the Church and local landowner, Sir Jack Whitaker, to plant this specimen oak, which was provided by Green Mile Trees of Babworth.

Peter Swinscoe, Babworth Church Warden said: "Babworth Church has an important part to play in the development of the thinking of the Pilgrims who were preached to by the Reverend Richard Clifton in the years before the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620.

"This superb tree will still be growing in our churchyard one hundred years from now."

The planting of the Sherwood Oak at Babworth Church. Picture courtesy of Sherwood Forest Trust

The planting ceremony included a selection of Brewster's sermons, read by actor Charles Cromwell, and the oak tree was blessed by the Rev. Richard Hanford.

The Trust appreciates the financial support given by Bassetlaw District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council to enable this project to come to fruition.

Discover more about the Sherwood Forest Trust here.

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