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Exploring Sherwood Forest and areas of natural beauty near Ollerton
If asked, the one thing that people most associate with Nottinghamshire is Sherwood Forest – and Robin Hood of course! Although changed in parts since it was a royal hunting ground protected by strict ‘Forest Law’, there are still many beautifully conserved areas of woodland that can be accessed freely. Each site has something unique to offer; whether your interest is cycling, walking, bird watching or even swinging from ropes between the trees. There are also some newly developed areas of woodland, created for the enjoyment of both residents and visitors.

If you would like to learn more about the local plants and wildlife, go along to one of the special events which are organised by the rangers at the country parks and nature reserves - visit our news and events page for details.

Boughton Brake
This 123-acre area of community woodland is managed by the Friends of Boughton Brake (FUBB) who, over the years, have carried out wide-ranging environmental improvements to the wood - putting up nest boxes, planting broadleaf trees and creating mini-habitats, including ponds, which are now teeming with wildlife. One major achievement has been the creation of the ‘Whitewater Trail’ – a surfaced path suitable for wheelchairs.


Location/parking: Boughton. Access is adjacent to Boughton Pumping Station. Parking (free) is available adjacent to Boughton Pumping Station (signposted from New Ollerton)
Admission: Free
Open: Daily
Contact: More information, including details of walking routes, can be obtained from reception at Boughton Pumping Station or by contacting Kath Parkes at FUBB on 01623 863413

Sherwood Heath
A local Nature Reserve and SSSI, Sherwood Heath is part of the historic Royal hunting forest of Sherwood's ancient heathland. It is a vital habitat for some of the rarest plants and creatures that are specially adapted to survive on the nutrient-poor, acidic, sandy soils. Flora and fauna that were in decline are now managed by The Sherwood Forest Trust, who are restoring traditional heathland species and controlling invasive birch and bracken. Sherwood Heath is a delightful place to explore and discover the fascinating heritage of the Sherwood Forest area.


Location/parking: New Ollerton. Access and parking (free) are adjacent to the Tourist Information Centre at Ollerton Roundabout
Admission: Free
Open: Daily
Contact: For more information about the Heath's restoration and events and activities contact the Sherwood Forest Trust on 01623 758231 or visit www.sherwoodforest.org.uk
Picnic tables and benches are available

Ollerton Pit Woods
Planted by the Forestry Commission on the site of the former colliery spoil heap, Ollerton Pit Woods have become a focus for local groups and individuals who want to engage with their environment. Walking along the marked paths you will see some of the projects that the local community has been involved with over the last few years, such as the creation of butterfly glades. Look out for information on the regular events organised by the Ranger on the display boards that greet you at the entrance. Picnic benches and tables are also available.


Location/parking: New Ollerton. Access is from Newark Road, and parking there is free
Admission: Free
Open: Daily
Contact: Sherwood Forest Community Rangers on 01623 822447.
Sherwood Pines Forest Park
Sherwood Pines Forest Park, owned and managed by the Forestry Commission, is the place to experience outdoor adventure. Waymarked routes are set out for walkers and cyclists and there is even a special area dedicated to mountain-bikers. Cycles can also be hired from the Visitor Centre, which includes a café and shop. An adventure trail provides amusement especially for children.

In addition ‘Go Ape’ provides high-wire aerial thrills through the trees for those aged 10 and over (pre-booking is essential), telephone 0870 444 5562 for prices/opening hours or visit the Go Ape website for more information.

Location/parking: The Centre is situated off the B6030 between Kings Clipstone and Ollerton. There is a small charge for car parking
Admission: Entry to the Park is free
Open: Daily, dawn to dusk
Contact: The Forestry Commission on 01623 822447 or visit www.forestry.gov.uk for more information

Sherwood Forest Country Park And Visitor Centre In The Birklands
Sherwood Forest Country Park is part of ‘The Birklands’, a National Nature Reserve. It also attracts thousands of people each year who come to visit the famous ‘Major Oak’, the legendary hiding place of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. It is estimated to be nearly a thousand years old and is one of the largest oaks in the country, the trunk having a girth of 10 metres and a branch spread of 28 metres. The Country Park has over 450 acres of ancient woodland to explore, comprising native oak, birch, rowan, holly and hawthorn trees, providing a wonderful habitat for a variety of rare wildlife. There is also a visitor centre, shops (selling Robin Hood-related souvenirs among other items), an adventure playground, activity centre and café.


Location/ parking: Edwinstowe (the Country Park is signposted from Edwinstowe Village). A car parking charge is applied at certain times during the year
Admission: Free
Open: Park – dawn to dusk, Visitor Centre – April-Oct (10.00am-5pm), November-March (10.00am-4.30pm)
Contact: Tel: 01623 823202

Duke’s Wood Nature Reserve
The 20-acre Duke’s Wood Nature Reserve, owned by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, is home to a wonderful array of plants and creatures and also holds an unusual secret – it was the site of the first onshore oilfield in Britain (read more about this slice of fascinating history [internal link]). The waymarked footpath passes by some of the restored ‘nodding donkeys’ which have been sited around the Wood.


Location/ parking: The entrance to Duke’s Wood is off the minor road to Eakring which leaves the A617 near Kirklington, where there is a small car park
Admission: Free
Open: Daily
Contact: If you are interested in this reserve or the other reserves managed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust in Nottinghamshire, telephone 0115 958 8242 or visit their website. Group tours are also welcomed (by appointment).

Vicar Water Country Park
This new country park, developed partly on the spoil heaps of the former colliery at Clipstone, offers visitors a great range of walking routes to suit all abilities. Most paths are made from compacted red ash and many are suitable for wheelchairs and scooters. There is also a lake that attracts wildlife – as well as anglers and birdwatchers! The Visitor Centre provides an ideal opportunity for refreshment.


Location/ parking: Clipstone – the main entrance is signposted from Mansfield Road B6030, opposite Clipstone Social Club.
Admission: Free
Open: Dawn to dusk
Contact: Newark and Sherwood District Council, Tel: 01636 655711 for more information, pick up the ‘Greenwood Walks’ pack from local libraries/tourist information centres or visit the Greenwood Forest website.

Guided Walks
If you would like to experience the beauty of the area on foot but wish to be guided as part of a group, then the 'Sherwood Foragers' walking scheme might be for you! The qualified leaders will guide you free-of-charge and children and dogs can attend too. For a copy of their comprehensive programme, please call Mick Bennet (Ollerton) on 0776 331 5277 or telephone the main number on 01636 683640.
Full acknowledgement for photographs used on this website can be found in the About Us section.
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