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If you go down to the woods next week

Posted onPosted on 26th Jul
If you go down to the woods next week

Visitors to this year’s Robin Hood Festival will be entertained by a musical comedy bear next week!

It is the first time that Bear with Me will be an act at the Robin Hood Festival – medieval minstrel Denise Quail and her grizzly but cuddly life-sized bear (husband John!) will be entertaining crowds during the annual festival, playing a hurdy gurdy and English Pipes.

But the couple have been huge fans of the festival for years – having attended almost every year as visitors since its first year in 1984.

Denise, 62, from Pye Bridge, said: “We love the Robin Hood Festival and it is such a fantastic atmosphere. We have seen many things over the years – lots of exciting skirmishes between Robin and the Sheriff, so many acts, and it is great that we are now going to get the chance to entertain others ourselves!”

The couple first came with children Robert, then ten and Jenny, then eight, when the festival was enjoying its formative years, and their great grandson Travis, two, is now set to attend this year as they make their debut as the latest members of the Festival Folk!

Denise said: “I have a vivid memory one year of walking along the forest path and the Singing Plague Victims jumped out from nowhere! It was a real shock but highly entertaining and me and John hope we can make a lot of people smile with our act too!

The couple, will be based along the Forest Path on the Thursday of the festival and on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be near the children’s play area between the visitor centre and the jousting arena.

Another newcomer to this year’s festival are Simon and Laura Stacey, from Ollerton, with their family business Go-Active Field and Falconry Adventures, who also have a base at Ryalls Farm in Eakring.

They have been in the falconry business for seven years having turned what was a hobby into a thriving business. They will be at the festival during the week with birds of prey on a static stand where people will be able to hold one of the birds and also have photographs taken with them – the different birds are falcons, hawks and owls.

The couple will be at the festival along with their son, Theodore, two, and their own seven-year-old hawk Annabelle. Laura said: “We are looking forward to the festival and birds of prey were very much an important part of life in medieval times – seen as a status symbol. The sort of bird of prey that you were allowed to keep gave an indication as to how high up you were in society.”

Go-Active Field and Falconry Adventures will be based on the Major Oak path, between Monday and Friday.

Festival goers can also enjoy the popular Chris Miller falconry walks on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

It’s a chance to get up close and personal with a beautiful bird of prey and learn about the sport of kings in this once Royal Hunting Forest. Limited spaces available, so pre-booking essential and this activity is chargeable to take part.

Councillor John Knight, Committee Chairman for Culture, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The Robin Hood Festival welcomes acts new and old every year and there is always such variety with what is on offer.

“We have everyone from the likes of Mark Williams (The Sheriff) who has appeared at every festival since it first began, to a whole host of different Festival Folk characters, each depicting life in medieval times, and each bringing a fresh and exciting take on the life and times of Robin Hood. It promises to be another fantastic and memorable festival celebrating Nottinghamshire’s famous outlaw.”

The annual Robin Hood Festival takes place from August 1 to 7, from 11am until 4pm each day with a packed programme of entertainment and evening events on selected days too. For more details visit: