Health Warning!

Sat 13 June 2020

Ranger Matt and Tom the fishing bailiff have noticed a blue/green colour on the duck pond and entrance to the main lake.

We are not certain if this is blue-green algae blooms but we have informed the Environment Agency and we will be taking water samples.

Blue-green algae can create toxins that are harmful to humans and domestic pets.

As a precaution please keep children and dogs from coming into contact with the water. Thank you.

Covid-19 July Update

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.

  • Vicar Water Country Park is open
  • Rumbles cafe is offering an outdoor 'take-away' service when the weather allows
  • Our volunteer working groups have been cancelled
  • Forest Schools and many park events 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 channels.

In line with Government guidance

  • if you have a high temperature, or new continuous cough, please postpone your visit to the 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 apart from one another and be considerate of others
  • Use the park and open space responsibly for your daily exercise
  • Please do not drop litter but use the bins provided to reduce the spread of germs

Using playgrounds during Covid-19 

  • If the playground you visit has not yet officially been opened, please do not attempt to use, or access the equipment or area
  • If the playground is busy, consider coming back at a later time. Talk to your children about this possibility before visiting
  • Social distancing should be followed and groups of parents and children should stay 2 metres apart if possible
  • The virus can be transmitted when you touch surfaces. If children use a playground they should be extra careful about hand hygiene and everyone should use an alcohol based hand sanitiser immediately before and after using the play equipment
  • Do not use playgrounds if you have Covid-19 symptoms such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath or lack or taste or smell
  • Encourage children to catch coughs or sneezes with a tissue or on their sleeve, not hands. Put tissues and used gloves in the bin
  • Remind children not to touch their face, eyes, nose or mouth
  • We recommend no eating and drinking in the play area for safety
  • The play equipment is inspected regularly but it is not sanitised
  • Consider bringing your own hygiene products to clean touch points such as swing chains and equipment handles
  • Do not drop litter, use the bins provided for all waste
  • We need all parents and children to behave responsibly in our playgrounds to prevent the spread of the virus

COVID-19 Fishing 

Please find below the rules and guidelines. 

  • Fishing is open to season ticket holders of Clipstone Angling Club (ask for a key to the barrier)
  • Day tickets are available but fishermen will need to park in the top carpark and walk to the main lake.
  • Night fishing is available for members of Clipstone Angling Club
  • There are only a certain number of pegs available to fish in order to help maintain social distancing
  • Season ticket holders can request a key for the vehicle barrier from the top car park to Vicar Water Lake
  • No other public access via vehicle will be allowed via the vehicle barrier at the top car park
  • All people fishing will be expected to comply with social distancing rules
  • Anyone found not respecting these rules will be asked to leave
  • These rules and regulations will be under regular review between Newark and Sherwood District Council and Clipstone Angling Club and we will update site users when changes will be made
  • No BBQ's
  • For more information on fishing at Vicar Water please email:

Spring update from Ranger Matt

A local walker has heard a cuckoo – so it must be spring! Dandelions and daisies are being allowed to flower where in previous years the amenity areas would have been cut. Ranger Matt has reported this and is noting how the wildflowers are attracting more insects and birds.

The heathland at Vicar Water attracts some really lovely birds including swallows, sky larks, yellow hammers, linets, meadow pipits and tree pipits. Keep an eye on the Vicar Water Facebook or twitter feeds to find out about guided bird walks with Mark Speck from Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. A walk on Saturday 20 June is in the diary but we will have to see how the Covid-19 lock down continues.

Matt is busy with seasonal park maintenance including cutting and strimming around paths, installing new way-markers, repairing the odd bit of vandalism (always so upsetting), litter picking and is enjoying watching the first swallows that are arriving in the park.

Orange tip butterfly

Park facilities

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. 


  • 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

Nature inspired activities for kids

Here’s a round-up of some great resources for smart and curious kids to help inspire an interest in nature and a commitment to looking after our planet.

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.

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.

We ask you to please avoid the area while the work is taking place.

All work will commence again on Wednesday 10 June 2020.

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:

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.


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: 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

New play area

Zipwire at Vicar Water Country ParkThe new play area includes a giant zipwire, climbing frames, swings and roundabouts.

Please follow the Covid-19 signage and stay safe.

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.

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

  • Vicar Water Pond Dipping - cancelled
  • Morning bird walk Saturday 20 June - cancelled
  • 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

Vicar Water Angling Club

For fishing enquiries please call the fishing bailiff on 07595 834 209 or




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.

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