Parks & nature
Rushcliffe Country Park
Mere Way, off Lougborough Road
Tel 0115 921 5865 or visit www.rushcliffe.gov.uk/rushcliffecountrypark
Rushcliffe Country Park is an ideal place to get away from it all. This former Ministry of Defence Bomb Factory has a network of over 8km of footpaths, a lake, grasslands, conservation area and landscaped areas, making it an excellent choice for walking, jogging, cycling, spotting wildlife and exercising your dog. Gibbies Wood is open to the public and features amazing sculptures of insects and animals, as well as a Tyre Maze and willow weavings which all add to the appeal of the area.
The Environmental Education Centre / Visitors’ Centre is designed to be carbon neutral, with solar panels, wind turbines and a bio-mass boiler. Dog lovers will enjoy the Copper’s Dog Activity Trail with its dog agility equipment and obstacles.
The park has won multiple Green Flag and TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Awards, a sure sign that it’s well-maintained and well-managed, and offers an excellent range of activities to visitors of all ages and abilities.
Bring your family and a picnic and encourage your children to let off steam either by visiting the extensive play area, riding the BMX 4X track, skateboarding on the half-pipe or simply using the open spaces to fly a kite. There is something for everyone – come and visit. If you’d like to get involved in looking after the park, visit the Friends of Rushcliffe Country Park website.
The park hosts a wide range of sports, leisure and fundraising events and activities all year round – visit the Rushcliffe Borough Council website to view the latest event listings.
Wilwell Farm Cutting
Located just outside the village on Wilford Road, Wilwell Farm Cutting is a large nature reserve situated in an abandoned railway cutting on the route of the former Great Central Railway line that used to go to Nottingham Victoria Station. The various levels and substrates have resulted in a variety of habitats, including pasture or meadow land, woodland and some wetland. These in turn encourage a wide variety of flora and fauna. The reserve is particularly well-known for its early summer show of wildflowers in traditional meadow settings. It’s open for the public to walk in at all times.
Wilwell Farm cutting is maintained by South Notts Wildlife Trust and managed by a dedicated team of volunteers. The Working Party normally meets on the first Saturday of each month from 1pm to 4pm; volunteers are always welcome. If you’re interested, contact Gordon Dyne on 0115 878 4842 or visit the South Notts Wildlife Trust website for further details.
Wilford Clay Pits
Wilford Clay Pits is a small nature reserve that’s also maintained by South Notts Wildlife Trust. You can reach it by continuing a short distance on Wilford Road past Wilwell Farm Cutting and turning right onto Landmere Lane just after the A52 flyover. The entrance to the nature reserve is up the hill on the left. Wilford Clay Pits is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is especially noted for its range of aquatic species and wildflowers. Like Wilwell Farm Cutting, the site is maintained by a regular Working Party staffed by volunteers. Find out more at the South Notts Wildlife Trust website.