District Council to plant 4000 trees and create new wood at Vicar Water Country Park

Posted on: Wednesday, December 8, 2021

With winter well and truly here, we all enjoy a nice long walk in a beautiful country park followed by a nice warm up back at home or in one of our many fantastic restaurants or pubs in our district. Those residents who enjoy walking at Vicar Water Country Park will be able to watch with fascination as a new wood will soon start to spring up, thanks to Newark and Sherwood District Council.

This week the District Council approved plans to plant over 4000 trees at Vicar Water Country Park to create a beautiful new wood. The area, around 4.4 hectares, was previously grazed by a local sheep farmer. However, he has since retired and the District Council spotted the opportunity to create an extensive habitat scheme within the Green Flag award winning park.

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council said, “This is great news for our district and is another example of our greening agenda at work. We recognise the urgent need to plant more trees to help address our climate emergency. These plans will benefit the residents, wildlife and landscape of the local area. 

“Through direct planting and free tree give-aways we have planted over 10,000 trees since 2019. This is already in excess of our original target to plant 10,000 trees by 2023. This project, combined with our annual free tree giveaways, puts us on course to potentially double this initial target figure by 2023.”

In August 2021 Newark and Sherwood District Council partnered with Nottinghamshire County Council and the Sherwood Forest Trust to assess the suitability of a major tree planting scheme on the Vicardale site of Vicar Water Country Park. The partnership work concluded that the site is suitable for planting.

Then, following extensive public consultation with environmental groups and the public, the District Council and its partners devised plans to join up two existing woodland areas to create a wildlife corridor within the park. The trees will bring about improvements to local biodiversity with future plans for woodland flower planting and the creation of wildlife habitats including bird boxes and bat boxes.  During the consultation, feedback was hugely positive with one local resident commenting “This is fantastic, this will help with the biodiversity of the area and create much needed homes for wildlife.”

Among the 25 different variety of trees that will be planted, residents will be able to see Oak, Silver Birch, Downy Birch, Aspen, Wild Cherry, Sm. Leaved Lime, Rowan, Hornbeam and Crab Apple. Planting will see the design transitioning from short herbage in the centre, to longer soft vegetation, to woody shrubs, to high forest woodland. 

Whilst the public will not be able to access the wood while the trees establish, it is hoped that new pathways will be able to be enjoyed by future generations. In the meantime, local residents will be able to watch with fascination as the wood grows and develops. Those who are lucky enough to look out over Vicardale will be able to view the changing seasons of the deciduous trees in the future.

Funded by Nottinghamshire County Council, the District Council will move the ambitious plans from paper to reality. It is hoped planting work can commence in January 2022.

The Sherwood Forest Trust will maintain the site for the first 12 years. After this time, the site should be established to a point that maintenance can be integrated into the routine running of the park.