North Nottinghamshire has many country parks and green spaces in which to roam and there is nothing better than to escape the central heating, wrap up warm and get outside in the fresh air! Drag the kids away from the playstations and the TV and let them explore their natural environment.
Sherwood Forest is probably the most famous forest in the world and is home to over 1500 species of beetle, 200 species of spider plus a host of birds, animals and plants. There are over 400 acres of ancient woodland to explore following in the footsteps of Robin Hood. The mighty Major Oak is the largest tree in this medieval hunting forest and is over 800 years old. It is just one of many ancient oaks to be found here but what other trees will you find? www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/sherwoodcp
Rufford Abbey Country Park is set around the ruins of a medieval monastery on the edge of Sherwood Forest. Here you will find woodland, open spaces and lakeside walks. You can see squirrels hunting for food, or feed the many different species of water birds to be found on the lake. Throughout the seasons the woods are filled with different flowers, from snowdrops to daffodils to bluebells but even in the midst of winter there is always something to see. www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/ruffordcp
Sherwood Pines Forest Park is the largest public park within the greater Sherwood Forest area. It is full of walking and cycling trails and if you are feeling really energetic you can have a go at Go Ape Tree Top Adventure. The forest is a great place to learn about nature and here in Sherwood Pines the rangers run a series of events throughout the year including bushcraft, star gazing and wild food foraging. www.forestry.gov.uk/sherwoodpines
Vicar Water Country Park has been transformed from a former colliery site to a country park with heathland, woodland and grassland offering spectacular views over the surrounding countryside. Here you can explore the many footpaths and cycle ways or float your model boats on the lake. www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/vicarwater
National Trust property Clumber Park is a beautiful expanse of parkland, heath and woods covering more than 3,800 acres. This was once the country estate of the Dukes of Newcastle and although the house was demolished in 1938, you can still follow in the footsteps of the Dukes and explore picturesque parkland and gardens, peaceful woodlands and a magnificent lake. There is an abundance of wildlife, flora and fauna to spot and vast open spaces in which to run wild. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/clumber-park
These are just a few examples of the many green spaces we have to offer. If you want to stay away from the crowds you can explore the Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) we have in the area such as Sherwood Heath, Eakring Meadows or Besthorpe Nature Reserve. Or why not explore the industrial archaeological trail around Duke’s Wood, the location of Britain’s first onshore oilfield? With so many places to explore there’s no excuse for staying indoors. www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org