A National Nature reserve (the only one in Nottinghamshire), managed by Nottinghamshire County Council and Forest Enterprise. Also part of the Birklands and Bilhaugh SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). It is also being considered as a SAC (Special Area of Conservation) under European law. It covers about 450 acres.
A car Park fee of £3 is charged at weekends and holiday times (including all of August). The visitor centre has exhibitions, cafe and toilets.
The Sherwood Forester bus network operates on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from roughly Easter to the end of October. The bus service is funded by Nottinghashire County Council and consists of various routes including the 233 which links Clumber Park, Sherwood CP visitor centre and Nottingham with connecting bus services to other towns such as Hucknall, Alfreton, Mansfield and Southwell.
There are three trails around the park.
Sherwood Forest (and a lot of the surrounding area) lies on Bunter Sandstone. The trees are Oak (some Sessile but mainly Pedunculate), Birch, Holly and Rowan, with a sparse shrub layer. The ground layer is usually bracken. Pine plantations are on the perimeters of the park. Management of the area consists of protecting the 500+ large old oaks, removing pine, beech and sycamore trees and replacing them with new plantings of oak and birch. Dead trees and branches are left where they fall to sustain the forest’s ecology. Scrub and bracken are controlled in the heathland areas.
Best time to visit is during the week in spring. This country park gets lots of visitors, around 500,000 a year. Most of them either remain around the visitor centre or go along the two paths between the Major Oak and the visitor centre, but even at a weekend in midsummer the forest is large enough to have plenty of quite spots.
Chaffinch is easily the most dominate bird in terms of numbers from the early part of the year up to July when many of them move out, but has its own specialities like Lesser spotted Woodpecker, Redstart, Tree Creeper and Nuthatch.
Tree Pipits can be heard in the late spring and summer in the more open areas. Redstarts can be seen in the more open Oak areas and Willow Warblers are more common here than in most of Nottinghamshire. Marsh Tits can be seen on most visits. Green Woodpeckers prefer the more open heaths with their abundant ant colonies. Nightjars "churr" on the open heathlands on summer evenings.
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