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A former colliery site Brierley Forest Park has been transformed into a wildlife haven with walks covering over 2 miles. It has footpath, cycling and horse riding networks through a series of plantation woodlands, hay meadows, water bodies, streams and wetland areas.
The park is over 78 hectares in size and also provides recreation facilities including a children’s play area and play trail, fishing, mountain bike track, sculpture features and a visitor centre with café facilities. The visitor centre is run separately to the rest of the park. It is currently closed due to coronavirus.
It is an accredited Natural England Country Park and designated as a Greenwood site, part of the community forest covering the Nottinghamshire area. The park also has a Green Flag award.
Brierley Forest Parks has these facilities and regular events:
There is free car parking, including disabled spaces, available at Brierley Forest Park.
Brierley Forest Park is located on former farmland and the site of Sutton Colliery. The Sutton Colliery was originally called The New Skegby Colliery. The pit shafts were sunk in 1873. Locally, it was known as Brierley Hill as the shafts were sunk by miners from Brierley Hill in Staffordshire, who had relocated to the local area seeking employment.
In the late 1970s the old colliery spoil tips were regraded, partly re-soiled and grassed, although Sutton Colliery itself did not close until 1989. Demolition of buildings and capping of shafts was completed later, together with final land re-profiling and soiling. The bulk of the tips were grassed over and the lower slopes planted with a variety of predominantly native broadleaved trees and shrubs, but also including a non-native element.
We purchased the spoil heap and surrounding farmland to create the park. Development began in 1992 with the aim creating Brierley Forest Park as a gateway site within the Greenwood Community Forest.
There are permanent reminders of the site’s industrial past, through the sculptures outside the visitor centre, the commemorative stone on Rooley Tops, and the pit wheels along the main path to Brierley Waters.
Within the visitor centre, there are permanent displays illustrating the site’s history.
Sutton in Ashfield
Sports and pitch bookings:
Park and car park open 24 hours
Visitor centre, cafe and toilets open 9am to 3.30pm, 7 days a week.