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Natural environment

Some areas and sites are given special consideration and offered planning and developments protections due to their biological and geological importance. This importance can be at an international, national or local level.

In some cases we look after and manage these sites, and in others we work with other organisations such as Natural England. 

Sites of international importance

There are currently no sites of international importance in Ashfield. An area to the east of the district known as the Sherwood possible potential Special Protection Area (ppSPA), which is important for breeding woodlark and Nightjar, is being considered and awaiting a government decision. 

Sites of national importance

There are 9 Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Ashfield. They have some of Nottinghamshire's richest habitats and cover approximately 125 hectares.

SSSIs are protected by specific legislation which includes a requirement for positive management. The 9 sites are:

  • Bagthorpe Meadows
  • Bogs Farm Quarry
  • Friezeland Grassland
  • Kirkby Grives
  • Annesley Woodhouse Quarries
  • Teversal Pastures
  • Bulwell Wood, Hucknall
  • Teversal – Pleasely Railway
  • Dovedale Wood.

Ancient woodland

Ancient woodland is an area of woodland that has been wooded continuously since at least 1600AD. These natural assets are irreplaceable and provide vital habitats for notable species.

The Forestry Commission provides a guide for assessing potential impacts on ancient woodland and veteran trees. There are 11 ancient woodland sites identified in Ashfield, by Natural England. They are: 

  • Healds Wood
  • Bloomer Wood
  • Bulwell Wood
  • Dawgates Wood
  • Dovedale Wood
  • High Park Wood
  • Little Oak Plantation
  • Millington Springs
  • Normanshill/Thieves Wood
  • The Dumbles. 

Sites of local importance

There are 4 Local Nature Reserves in Ashfield. These are mainly managed by us, designated in consultation with Natural England to encourage public access and enjoyment of the natural environment. The 4 sites are:

Local wildlife sites

Local Wildlife Sites (LWSs) are wildlife-rich sites selected for their local nature conservation value. Their designation is non-statutory but they are protected through local plan policies via the planning system.

The Nottinghamshire Biological and Geological Records Centre identify and review Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) and Local Geological Sites (LGS). 

Protected and priority habitats and species

The Nottinghamshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan identifies wildlife habitat and species which are of national and local importance for protection.

We consult with Natural England and other wildlife organisations on any planning applications that may affect protected or notable habitats or species protected under relevant legislation or in this plan.