Spring Encounters in Nottinghamshire
“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea and music in its roar; I love not man the less, but Nature more.”
– Lord Byron
The snowdrops have emerged, lambing season has begun and the daffodils are slowly waking up to Spring. Pushing through the dregs of winter, the sun has teased us over the past few weeks, unleashing random bursts of sunshine and giving us that addictive energy which makes us look to the summer months ahead.
You might have warmer climes on the mind, but in the meantime there are some true beauty spots in Nottinghamshire to take in the first signs of spring and a host of outdoor activities to blow those wintry cobwebs away. Here is but a small selection of of day trip nature escapes to celebrate the new season…
F L O W E R S
After the long months of winter, it’s a delightful surprise to see the vivid colours and ornate forms of spring flowers. During April and May in the woodlands around Hodsock Priory, the Bluebells emerge to give a magical display for all. With twelve acres to roam around it’s a perfect place to get lost, take beautiful photos and immerse yourself in nature.
If you’ve got green fingers, Holme Pierrepoint Hall is host to the annual Flower Power Plant Fair, which sells rare and unusual plants from specialist nurseries and gives you a good chance to explore the formal gardens. The Hall is also known for its rare brand of flower, the Tulip Sylvestris, which bloom wild throughout April in the gardens around the hall.
A C T I V E
If you’re ready to get stuck in to a new hobby in the great outdoors, there are lots of things to try around Nottinghamshire. Each Saturday you can take part in the Clumber Park Run, which follows a 5km route through the parkland and woodland. The area has been named a Site of Specific Scientific Interest due to the vast array of wildlife it holds so keep your eyes peeled for any beautiful beasties or spring buds too!
Those who are interested in picking up a new skill might want to check out the Bushcraft for Families Workshop at Sherwood Pines. Learn how to light a fire, build a shelter and have a go at some forest crafts in the beautiful setting of Sherwood Forest. Perfect if you plan to go wild camping in the future!
Want to be green in 2017? Hockerton Housing Project will no doubt inspire you to revamp your home and lifestyle. This unique community lives on renewable energy, grow 70% of their own food and manage their own waste and water systems. Set by a beautiful lake, you can take part in a small group tour around the grounds and learn about the community lifestyle, the challenges faced and development of the project.
A N I M A L S
Of course, one of the most magical parts of Spring for adults and children alike is seeing newborn animals enjoying the world for the first time. It’s a bit of a hidden gem, but Nottingham actually has a farm just a mile out of the city centre, which is perfect for getting that dose of Spring without leaving the city. The Stonebridge City Farm in Sneinton is home to goats, rabbits, cows, chickens, pigs and more, along with a great shop and café to relax in.
If you fancy going farther afield and seeing something a little more exotic, The Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre is a great place to have an amazing animal encounter. Along with its usual crew of meerkats, parrots, otters and owls, you can visit the Madagascan species close up at their Mad About Madagascar event over the Easter holidays which has various Easter and animal related activities on offer.
Any early birds may enjoy the Dawn Chorus Day at Rushcliffe Country Park, which is a short 1.5 mile walk to take in nature’s daily free concert. Beginning at 6am you can meet the day with peaceful tranquillity, birdsong and a spot of light exercise, with refreshments available to buy afterwards.
Of course, a special mention should be given to Attenborourgh Nature Reserve and Sherwood Forest Country National Nature Reserve, two unmissable hubs for wildlife in Nottinghamshire that protect and promote our eco-system. Whether you want to spot one of the 160 types of bird at Attenborough, or see the ancient trees of Sherwood Forest, both are perfect for a day getting lost in the wild.
We hope you have an amazing time exploring Nottinghamshire’s natural world. If you’re visiting any of the attractions we’ve mentioned in this blog, why not let us know! We love to see you photos and hear your thoughts on our beautiful county and its easy to get in touch via our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!