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On Sunday, 18 October, we joined Nottingham citizens in celebrating 150 years of the Nottingham Forest recreation ground.
In the year of the Open Spaces Society’s foundation, 1865, the first oak-tree, the Inclosure Oak, was planted close to the Mansfield Road entrance to the Forest recreation ground. This was to celebrate the grant of 122 acres of Sherwood Forest as open space in the 1845 inclosure act. The tree was planted by local solicitor Edwin Patchitt who acted as secretary for the inclosure commissioners and later became Mayor of Nottingham.
The event was organised by the efficient and tireless June Perry, who runs the Friends of the Forest and is a member of the OSS. A procession of 150 people, led by the Sheffield City Giants.
They stopped by the Inclosure Oak and Councillor Dave Trimble, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, spoke to the gathering. He introduced our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook.
Says Kate: ‘1865 was a milestone. Not only was it the year of the Open Spaces Society’s foundation, as the Commons Preservation Society, to protect our vital, threatened open spaces, but it was also the year when the Nottingham Forest recreation ground was confirmed as public open space for ever.
‘I am delighted to have been invited to plant the new tree beside the venerable Inclosure Oak. The original oak marks a crucial moment in the history of Nottingham when the people won their open spaces in perpetuity, under the inclosure act. Open spaces today are more important than ever for our health and happiness and we must defend them against a multitude of threats. Long may the people of Nottingham be able to enjoy the freedom and fresh air of the Forest.’
Kate planted the second oak.
Tom Huggon (champion for open spaces) and Paddy Tipping (Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner) spoke, and the giants and Nottingham Morris performed some more dances. You can see the video here.