Coronavirus and council parks and open spaces

Update Wednesday 1 April

In line with the Government’s advice and replicating action taken by other UK heritage sites in response to COVID-19, Newark Castle and its Gardens are temporarily closed. This decision has been reached after careful consideration of social distancing guidance and of the protection of these important and precious landmarks. We apologise for any inconvenience and appreciate your support at this unprecedented time.

To report any concerns or ask any questions please email NewarkCastle@nsdc.info and a representative will get back to you shortly.

Stay safe and well,

The Newark Castle Team

NB Please see our Events page for an update regarding lighting the Castle blue for the NHS.

Update Friday 27 March

We would like to reassure our park visitors that your health and safety is of utmost importance. We have had to make some decisions in the best interest of our visitors and staff, please see the following updates below.

  • Sconce and Devon Park, Vicar Water Country Park and other council open spaces excluding Newark Castle and Gardens will remain open for the time being. However the Rumbles cafes at Sconce and Devon Park and Vicar Water Country Park are closed until further notice
  • The senior and junior parkrun events at Sconce and Devon Park have been cancelled
  • Our volunteer working groups have been cancelled
  • The annual Easter Egg Hunts have been cancelled
  • April Forest Schools have been cancelled

We believe these are the most responsible decisions to make at this time. We will continue to monitor this developing situation and share updates as soon as they are available via our website and social media platforms.

In line with Government guidance

  • if you have a high temperature, or new continuous cough, please postpone your visit to a park and stay at home for 14 days
  • Please also ensure that you practice good hand hygiene
  • No team games or large groups activities
  • Stay 2m part from one another
  • Use the park and open space responsibly

Guidelines on how to avoid the virus can be found on the NHS website

We would like to thank you for your continued support

Vicar Water Country Park

At the centre of the park is Vicar Pond, a large fishing lake that was created by the 5th Duke of Portland in the 1870s. In the past the lake has been used for boating and swimming but today it is a thriving course fishery (day tickets available). The park is also a designated local nature reserve.

The Green Flag awarded park has been transformed to heathland, woodland and grassland and offers spectacular views across to Derbyshire and Lincolnshire.

Entry to Vicar Water is free of charge although there is a voluntary car park donation charge of £1 if visitors so wish to donate. 

‌ Park facilities

  • Large lake and abundant wildlife‌
  • Footpaths and cycleways suitable for all abilities including the Sustrans National Route 6 and the Timberland Trail
  • Visitor centre and Rumbles Café
  • Toilets located in the visitor centre
  • Children’s play area
  • Small pond (for model boats and duck feeding)
  • Golden Hand sculpture

Play area

New play equipment is being installed from Monday 2 March for approximately four to six weeks.

The improvements will include:

  • Brand new zipline
  • Under 6 equipment
  • Climbing frame and slides
  • New safety matting

Improvement works by Western Power at Intake Wood Clipstone

If you live in the Clipstone area and regularly visit Intake Wood please be aware that Western Power Distribution are carrying out major works over the next few weeks.

The work is part of an undergrounding scheme which will improve the power network as well as the overall woodland landscape.

Western Power Distribution will firstly excavate a trench along the length of the wood which will feed a new 33kv underground cable.

Once the cable is in place the overhead lines, poles and supporting equipment will be removed.

  • Groundwork will start on Wednesday 26 February 2020 to clear the area
  • Excavation work starts Monday 2 March 2020 for approximately 2 weeks
  • Removal of old overhead equipment starts Monday 13 April 2020 for approximately 1 week

Please avoid the area while the work is taking place.

Wildlife, habitats and education

The park is available for use for environmental education purposes, any enquires should be directed to the Ranger who can be contacted via 07980 610 308 or email: matt.smith@nsdc.info

Vicar Water offers a range of wildlife and habitats. Whether you want to see birds, bats, wildflowers or fungi there is always something to see at the park. 

Friends of Vicar Water Country Park

The Friends of Vicar Water volunteer group is involved in helping us to look after the park. The group meets regularly and welcomes new members. Call 01636 655713 for further details.

Volunteering

Based in west Nottinghamshire? Want to meet new people, keep fit, help to conserve and enhance your local country park whilst having fun? Then why not join the Newark and Sherwood Western Reserves Volunteers? No experience is necessary, just enthusiasm!

Tasks will vary from scrub bashing, fencing, visitor surveys, repairing footpaths, woodland thinning and habitat surveying so there is something for everyone! You will get the chance to work at Vicar Water Country Park and Intake Wood in Clipstone and Sherwood Heath in Ollerton.

Full training and tools will be provided but please bring suitable old outdoor clothing and stout footwear. Any hours and days that you can spare will be greatly appreciated.

For more information please contact Park Ranger Matt Smith via email: matt.smith@nsdc.info or via telephone on 07980 610 308. 

‌Voluntary parking charge

The park has a voluntary pay and display scheme. If you drive to the park you can, if you wish, make a parking donation of £1 for a day, or buy a season ticket for £20.

No-one is under any obligation to make a donation but any donations will be reinvested in the park. Everyone is still welcome to use the park, regardless of whether they make a donation or not and you won't be charged or fined if you don't buy a ticket.

Visitor Centre and cafe

The Visitor Centre and café is run by Rumbles Catering Project - a registered charity which provides training in catering and life skills for people with learning difficulties. Rumbles can also provide outside catering for events, parties and functions.

The cafe provides a great family friendly place to relax when visiting the park. There is plenty to eat and drink in the cafe and outside is a play area for the kids it's the perfect spot to wind down after a walk and an explore.                

For further details of Rumbles menus and services or to enquire about hiring the Visitor Centre facilities please call 01623 424836 or e-mail rumblescateringproject@yahoo.co.uk

Forest school

NEW to our parks in Newark and Clipstone

Book places for our new outdoor learning programme with park rangers George and Matt.

Vicar Water Country Park events 2020

Our regular events include bird walks, wildflower walks, nature walks, bat walks, school holiday activities and fun days

  • Water safety with Notts Fire and Rescue Service on Saturday 25 April at approximately 2pm to 4pm
  • Vicar Water Pond Dipping

These are 10am to12pm, sessions cost £2

Summer holidays
Friday 31 July
Friday 14 August

  • Morning bird walk Saturday 20 June
  • Vicar Water Fun Day  Sunday 6 September

Follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts to find out about our events and join in the conversation!

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

How to Find Us

Vicar Water can be reached via public transport by using Stagecoach travel and catching the number 14, 15, or 16 bus.  A bus stop is located at the top of the entrance drive.

Vicar Water Angling Club

For fishing enquiries please call 07547 278904 or 07377 446041

Email vicarwaterangling@gmail.com

 

 

Sky lantern and balloon release ban

Sky lanterns and helium balloon releases are now banned in our council parks.

The decision has been made due to concerns about the environmental impact of the balloons and risk to the public and animals.

  • 01636 650000

    Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm

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    Castle House
    Great North Road
    Newark
    Notts
    NG24 1BY

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