Merry nudists disturb visitors in Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest


It is no longer bands of Merry Men with bows and arrows that are likely to frighten visitors to England’s Sherwood Forest, but rather groups of nude ones, British media reported on Friday.

« In recent times, nudists have started walking around here, sometimes in groups of up to 12 men, » said regular visitor Robert Robinson on the website change.org, where he has organized a petition in protest at the practice.

He said his wife had stopped her regular jogs through the forest after an encounter with a naked man that she found particularly disturbing.

‘No need to walk around naked’

The petition is addressed to the Nottinghamshire County Council and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which run the nature reserve.

Robinson blamed the RSPB for promoting nudism in newspapers and on signs.

« There is no need to walk about naked. Clothes do not stop you enjoying the forest, » the petition says.

Naturists are in fact tolerated and allowed in parts of the larger Sherwood Forest region, though they are encouraged to stay away from the most-visited areas.

A clothed hero to the poor

The forest is a magnet for visitors from Britain and abroad owing to its legendary role as the home of the outlaw Robin Hood and his band, who are said to have had their hideout at the 1,000-year-old Major Oak Tree in the forest.

The stories of Robin Hood describe him as a hero who, with his Merry Men, robbed the rich and gave to the poor.

His main opponent, the Sheriff of Nottingham, always comes off the worst in their encounters.  

None of the legends describe Robin Hood as carrying out his activities in the nude, but rather as being clad from head to toe in forest green.

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