The Wychwood Forest Fair was founded in 1796 by three Methodists living in Finstock as a calmer counterpart to the annual Witney Feast. It was more of a picnic than a fair.
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. Rival groups from outside the area were blamed for contributing to its increasingly riotous atmosphere. This state of affairs, followed by the conversion of the Forest to private ownership, eventually led to the Fair being banned for good.
The Wychwood Project revived the Forest Fair in 2000 to celebrate the area’s rural traditions and conservation work. Today’s family-friendly, peaceful fair looks back to its 18th-century origins.
The Wychwood Forest Fair will take place this year on 22 August at Foxburrow Wood, Witney from 11am–5pm.
Tickets cost £8 in advance and £10 on the door. Under-16s are free. Tickets can be booked here: http://wychwood-project.mitingu.com/wychwood-forest-fair-2021 or by visiting the Wychwood Project’s website at wychwoodproject.org.
- The event will be very open air to keep it safe.
- The Fair supports the Wychwood Project, a conservation charity that encourages local people to understand, conserve and restore its rich mosaic of landscapes and wildlife habitats.
- Entertainment will include ferret racing, falconry, art and crafts stalls, rural crafts displays, and more.
- The Fair is currently open to approaches from interested stallholders.
- If you would prefer to contact the Wychwood Project directly to book tickets, or would like to apply to host a stall at the Fair, please email email@example.com or call 07584 262437.