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Wychwood Forest Fair to take place Sunday 22 August

The Wychwood Project is excited to announce that this year's Forest Fair will take place on Sunday 22 August at Foxburrow Wood, Witney from 11am–5pm.

With heaps of entertainment including rural crafts, ferret racing, falconry, food stalls and more, the fair is a fun way to enjoy a summer Sunday while supporting the Wychwood Project, a local conservation charity dedicated to restoring habitats across the historic Wychwood Forest area—which today comprises most of West Oxfordshire including Charlbury. 

To keep things safe this year’s Fair will be largely open-air and use more space than previous years. Advanced bookings are encouraged to help monitor numbers: tickets purchased in advance cost £8, while tickets on the door cost £10. Under-16s can enter for free.

The Wychwood Project would welcome donations of second-hand books in good condition for the Fair’s thriving second-hand bookstall, or offers to volunteer for a few hours at the Fair. Please email or call the Wychwood Project’s office on 07584 262437.

A historic event

The Wychwood Forest Fair was founded in 1796 by three Wesleyian Methodists living in Finstock as a calmer counterpart to the annual Witney Feast. More of a picnic than a fair, the original event saw locals coming together to enjoy the Wychwood Forest.

As the Fair grew in reputation and scale it started to change. The 19th century Fair operated outside parish jurisdiction, and many seized it as a chance to settle scores in skirmishes and fights. Non-locals travelling miles to visit the Fair were blamed for contributing to its increasingly riotous atmosphere.

The Forest Fair’s future became uncertain following a spate of rowdy incidents in the 1830s that led to its widespread condemnation and occasional prohibition. After the 1853 Parliamentary Act of Disafforestation placed the historic Wychwood Forest under private ownership, the Fair was banned for good.

The Wychwood Project revived the Forest Fair in 2000 to celebrate the area’s rural traditions, arts and crafts, and conservation work. Today’s family-friendly, peaceful Fair looks back to its 18th-century origins.

Join the Fair

You can book tickets for the Fair using the following link:   

Or find out more at the Wychwood Project's website: 

If you would like to apply for a stall at the Fair, please email 

Miranda Davies · Fri 21 May 2021, 13:30 · Link

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