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The Nottinghamshire Countryside Appraisal, prepared by Nottinghamshire County Council, provides comprehensive and detailed information on the County’s countryside character.
Taking into account geology, geomorphology, soils, landscape history, landscape features, settlement patterns and styles and land-use, Newark and Sherwood is divided into five Regional Character Areas, which can be used to describe the biodiversity resource of the District: The Mid-Nottinghamshire Farmlands; The Trent Washlands; The East Nottinghamshire Sandlands; The South Nottinghamshire Farmlands and Sherwood.
Under powers granted to them by the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, local authorities have the power to declare Local Nature Reserves (LNRs).
LNRs, which receive specific protection from development under the planning system, are places with wildlife or geological features that are of special interest locally and which give people special opportunities to study and learn about them or simply enjoy and have contact with nature.
Two sites have been declared by the district council – Sherwood Heath LNR, near Ollerton, and Devon Park Pastures LNR (PDF File, 82kb) , in Newark. In 2003 Farndon Parish Council used the rarely employed power of a parish council to declare Farndon Ponds LNR (PDF File, 248kb).
Trent Lane, Besthorpe. From the A1133 Newark to Gainsborough road, take the southern of two turns into Besthorpe Village and follow Trent Lane to its end where you can park and enter the reserve.
Tel: 0115 958 8242
Besthorpe Nature Reserve is one of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s largest nature reserves and provides ideal habitat for a wide range of birds, wild plants and other wildlife such as great crested newts.
The entrance to the reserve (Grid ref. SK 675603)is off the minor road to Eakring, which leaves the A617 near Kirklington.
Tel: 0115 958 8242
This 20-acre woodland wildlife haven for wildlife has a fascinating industrial heritage. As the location of the UK’s first onshore oilfield Duke’s Wood has been described as the ‘best kept secret of World War II.
The reserve (SK702622 west end, and SK709618 east end) lies about two miles east of Eakring, to the south of Kersall and north of the minor road from the A616 near Caunton to the A614 just north of Bilsthorpe
Tel: 0115 958 8242
One of the best remaining neutral grasslands in the County. The meadows provide good habitat for butterflies and birds. Care should be taken to avoid trampling the wildflowers if visiting during May and June.
Boundary Road, Newark on Trent, Notts NG24 4AU.
Tel: 01636 655290 or 07971 486301 (Park Ranger).
Edwinstowe, Mansfield, Notts, NG21 9HN
Tel: 01623 823202
Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve extends over 450 acres of the famous ancient woodland. Major Oak tree, waymarked walks, footpaths and bridleway. Annual Robin Hood Festival in Summer, Robin Hood Exhibition, Sherwood past, present and future exhibition, video studio, open air theatre, Robin Hood shop, Forest Table Restaurant, Activities Centre and Adventure Playground.
Country Park open daily from dawn to dusk. Visitor Centre open daily 10am – 5pm (April to October) and 10am – 4.30pm (November to March) Limited facilities Christmas Eve, Closed Christmas Day.
Forestry Commission, Sherwood Forest District, near Edwinstowe, Mansfield, Notts NG21 9JL.
Tel: 01623 822447
The largest forest open to the public in the East Midlands and centre for a wide variety of outdoor activities. These include waymarked all ability woodland walks, orienteering course, waymarked cycle routes and mountain bike trails through the forest. Open: All year except Christmas Day. 8am - 10pm (April - September), 8am - 6pm (October - March).
These are a series of small meadows owned by Southwell Minster which are now being managed as traditional hay meadows. They will be mown for hay after the main flowering period, allowing seeds to be retained on the ground, and then grazed by sheep. There is a network of paths across the fields which are open all year round. Spring wild flowers include, ragged robin, ox-eye daisy, yellow rattle and orchids. Guided walks available. Telephone Tony Morris on 01636 819050.
Mansfield Road, Clipstone, Mansfield, Notts, NG21 9BT
Tel: 01623 466340
The district contains a number of sites which receive specific protection because of their international, national or county/ regional importance for nature conservation.
Birklands and Bilhaugh candidate Special Area of Conservation, the only designated site of international importance in Nottinghamshire, is a dry oak dominated woodland which owes much of its exceptional interest to the presence of many rare dead wood invertebrates and lichens. It forms part of the European Union wide Natura 2000 network. Click here for a location map.
In November 2002 part of Birklands and Bilhaugh cSAC was also declared as the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve – this includes the world famous ‘Major Oak’ of Robin Hood fame.
Acting upon information supplied by the Nottinghamshire Biological and Geological Records Centre (NBGRC), the district council has designated a series of ‘Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation’ (SINCs), identified for their local (regional/county/district) nature conservation value. These sites receive protection through the planning system and are representative examples of the more locally important nature conservation sites. For further information, please contact the NBGRC.
Newark and Sherwood District Council