Alternative Green Spaces in Nottinghamshire
With sixteen different gardens in Lord Byron’s ancestral home, a well-manicured Arboretum in the city centre and the thousand acres of rolling countryside that make up Thoresby Park, we certainly aren’t short of beautiful gardens and landscapes here in Nottinghamshire.
To get into the spirit of Visit England’s celebration of the English Garden, we’ve been digging a little deeper and unearthing the green spaces hidden in Nottinghamshire locations where you might least expect to find them…
St Ann’s Allotment’s is the oldest and largest area of detached Victorian gardens in the world and has been awarded Grade II listed status by English Heritage. Located in the inner-city area of St Anne’s, just two miles outside of the city centre, the site spans 75 acres in total. Alongside different plots, there is a visitor centre, a heritage garden and several wildlife areas open to the public for self-guided tours. It’s a unique urban haven for nature and city dwellers alike.
Dukes Wood is actually the site of the UK’s very first oil field. Now managed by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, the area is a thriving woodland and home to plenty of rare species of plants and animals. You’ll also find a museum on the Nature Trail, as well as some restored ‘nodding donkey’ pumps, left as a relics of the site’s industrial past.
Hockerton Housing Project is a sustainable living project set in idyllic rural surroundings, just two miles from the minster town of Southwell. The residents live as a self sufficient community, growing their own food, managing their own water systems and generating their own energy. You can experience the lifestyle for yourself on a guided tour during one of their open Saturdays.
It may be just outside the county border, but the Tropical Butterfly House still brings the tropics a little closer to home.
Be transported into an exotic animal kingdom and meet winged, scaly and furry friends from far flung places. From 29th May-5th June, you also can visit the Enchanted Fairy Forest where you’ll find magical fantasy world to explore.
Attenborough Nature Centre sits within the wild wetlands and parkland of Attenborough Nature Reserve. The centre was awarded the Gold Award for sustainable tourism in 2007 and was listed in the top ten eco destinations in the world by BBC Wildlife Magazine. Alongside several walking routes, there are educational facilities, a cafe serving local and organic food and a shop to inspire you to with ideas for creating the perfect environment to attract wildlife at home.
For days when the British weather is being it’s most typical, there’s no need to miss out on a bit of greenery: the award-winning toilet in the Debbie Bryan shop is the next best thing. With it’s grassy carpet and floral mural on the wall, you can get up close with nature come rain or shine!