Covid-19 June 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
  • Fishing is available for club members
  • Rumbles Café is open for take-away and outdoor refreshments 
  • The visitor centre toilets are open and being cleaned three times a day to help ensure safety
  • The play area is open but please see the extra safety advice on this page
  • Our volunteer working groups are taking place again following strict COVID-19 safety precautions 
  • Forest Schools and many park events have been postponed

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
  • Please also ensure that you practice good hand hygiene
  • Stay 2m apart from one another and be considerate of others
  • Do not meet in groups of more than 6 people or 2 households
  • No team games or large groups activities unless it is part of an organised club or society
  • Organised outdoor sports are allowed
  • 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. If the bins are full, take your litter home with you and dispose of it responsibly.

New Public Space Protection Order for Vicar Water Country Park

Public Space Protection Orders are designed to promote responsible behaviour and restrict behaviour that is anti-social, in parks and other public open spaces.

A new Public Space Protection Order for Vicar Water Country Park has been implemented in relation to combating fire-related nuisance on the Park. The terms are:

”a person or persons are prohibited from the following activities being: the lighting of fires; barbecues; Chinese lanterns, fireworks; or using any article/object which causes a naked flame and which poses a risk of fire”

Notices will soon be in place around the park.

Using playgrounds during Covid-19 

  • 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 families 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
  • Face-coverings are recommended for parents but not children under 3 years old. Dispose of used face-coverings properly
  • 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
  • All people fishing will be expected to comply with social distancing rules
  • Day tickets are available but fishermen will need to park in the top carpark and walk to the main lake.
  • Night fishing is not available
  • No fishing matches or events at the current time 
  • 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
  • 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:

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

Recyclable packaging at Rumbles CafeVisitor Centre and Rumbles Cafe

The Rumbles team welcome you to the park cafe.

An outside and take-away service is being offered. If you wish to avoid disappointment you can book a table in advance by phone, email or Facebook.

The summer menu includes breakfasts, lite bites and seasonal hot lunches cooked with fresh vegetables. The scones and cakes are legendary! 

There are plenty of healthy menu choices and there is new recyclable and compostable packaging for take-aways.

5 star hygiene rating and Healthy Options Takeaway (HOT) including vegetarian options.

Menu deals include:

  • Tea and cake £3.50
  • Coffee and cake £4
  • Meal deal - fresh roll, crisps and cold drink £4.50
  • Tea and cream and jam scone £4.50
  • Soup of the day and a roll £2.50

The cafe is a run by Rumbles Catering Project, which is a charity providing education and training for people with learning difficulties.

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

Wildlife, habitats and education

The park is available for use for environmental education purposes, any enquiries should be directed to Lynn Preece at 

The pond, stream and lake at Vicar Water all provide homes and food for a variety of birds, waterfowl, aquatic nests, amphibians and dragonflies including kingfishers, herons, grebes, tufted ducks, water scorpions, frogs and newts, along with emperor dragonflies and common darters.

Vicar Water's heathland was transplanted from Budby Heath in 2000 and includes a mosaic of bell and ling heather, cross-leaved heath, along with gorse and broom. This heathland supports a wide range of birds, reptiles, butterflies and beetles.

Key species to look out for include:

  • Green woodpecker
  • Tree pipit
  • Nightjar
  • Common lizard
  • Green tiger beetle
  • Dingy skipper butterfly

Species rich grassland is another rare and important habitat. It can support a large number of rare grasses and flowers, keep an eye out for bee orchids, harebell, field scabious, and common centuary.

Vicar Water has a large amount of woodland that contains both broadleaved and coniferous trees along with scrub. These wooded areas are also full of wildlife.

Spring is a great time to see traditional woodland plants such as snow drops, bluebells, and wood anemones. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for birds including great spotted woodpeckers, tawny owls, treecreepers, jays, goldcrests, and nuthatch. Woodland thinning work has take place annually to add more diversity to the woodlands. Areas are opened up to provide space for the better trees to thrive along with allowing understory and ground layers to develop naturally.

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. Email Lynn Preece for more details 


Live in the Sherwood area? Want to meet new people, keep fit, help to conserve and enhance your local country park whilst having fun? Then why not join the Vicar Water 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 also get the chance to work at 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.

Email Lynn Preece for more details 

‌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.

During the summer months the car park barrier is closed at 8pm.

New play area

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

We have added an accessible swing seat for ease of use by all abilities. 

Please follow the Covid-19 signage and stay safe.

Please keep the playground clean and safe and use the two litter bins provided.

Forest school

Available in our parks in Newark, Ollerton and Clipstone for summer 2021.

Book places for our fun outdoor learning programme with our park rangers.

Miner 2 Major

Miner to Major is an exciting five-year land management project (2019 to 2023) supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The scheme is delivering a range of projects that celebrate and help protect the diverse wildlife, important habitats and rich heritage of Sherwood Forest.

There are lots of opportunities to get involved with volunteering, have-a-go activities, restoring natural habitats, monitoring threatened species, planting hedges and trees, improving walking tails, free training and up-skilling courses, surveying historic buildings, learning traditional crafts and learning about local legends and heroes.

There are opportunities to take part in activities at locations including Rainworth Heath, Budby Forest, Sherwood Forest, Vicar Water Country Park, Intake Wood and Sherwood Heath.

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Vicar Water Country Park events 2021

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

  • Bark in the Park Tuesday 8 June 10am to 2pm
  • Acorn creative project Saturday 19 June 
  • Vicar Water Green Festival Sunday 12 September 12pm to 4pm

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


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.



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.

Help us to protect the park

Help us prevent fire, litter and wildlife damage.

BBQ's, campfires and fireworks are not permitted in the park.

BBQ's, campfires and fireworks are NOT permitted in the park

  • 01636 650000

    Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm

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