NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, Eng — An unusual upswing in the number of complaints made to the police in one area of Nottinghamshire is concerning both local and national Pagans. Ashfield North saw 87 calls referring to Witches in 2016, and 38 in the previous year. These figures – released to the Nottingham Evening Post as part of police statistics under a freedom of information request – is extremely high compared to other parts of the country, and the reason for it remains unclear. Local experts in the paranormal have suggested that some of these complaints relate to Witchcraft carried out in the past, but local Pagans are becoming concerned that the ordinary practices found in modern Pagan paths are also being reported as sinister. Ashley Mortimer, director of the Nottingham Pagan Network, said, “Thirty eight reports out of 44 [paranormal incidents in Ashfield North] says more to me about the level of reporting than necessarily about the level of witchcraft activity.”
ENGLAND — Members of the U.K.’s Pagan community made the mainstream media in an effort to dispel myths and misconceptions with regard to a recent rash of witchcraft reports in the region. According to reports, some parts of Nottinghamshire have had “125 [complaints] of witchcraft in two years.” Local paranormal experts allegedly claim that “some of the reports could be ghostly activity which relates to, or has been caused, by witchcraft carried out in the past.” The press turned to Ashley Mortimer, who director of Nottingham Pagan Network and also a trustee of the Doreen Valiente Foundation. Mortimer is quoted as saying that 38 “reports out of 44 [paranormal incidents in Ashfield North] says more to me about the level of reporting than necessarily does about the level of witchcraft activity.” He went on to explain that Witchcraft has had bad press for years and none of this is new.
And if Robin should be cast
Sudden from his turfed grave,
And if Marian should have
Once again her forest days,
She would weep, and he would craze:
He would swear, for all his oaks,
Fall’n beneath the dockyard strokes,
Have rotted on the briny seas … NOTTINGHAMSHIRE, U.K. — The poem above, by John Keats, reveals three things about English folklore: the power of the figure of Robin Hood, the sacred nature of the oak tree, and the indelible link between the two of them. Writing in 1818, Keats was invoking these powerful images as he railed against the Royal Navy’s plundering of the nation’s forests to take oak for shipbuilding. Today, the figure of Robin Hood is again being invoked as his very heartland of Sherwood Forest, and the great ancient oak, fabled to be his hideout, are now facing a very contemporary threat. Anti-fracking campaigners in the UK recently learned that chemical multinational INEOS has been in discussions with the UK’s Forestry Commission to carry out seismic surveys in Sherwood. If agreed, the survey will allow INEOS to spend up to two years burying charges and using other seismic equipment to search for shale gas in the forest, which is designated as a National Nature Reserve.