Natural Environment

 Sites can be designated for their biological and geological importance at an international, national or local level. Designated biological and geological sites in Ashfield District are summarised below.

International Sites

There is currently no designated site of international importance in Ashfield District.

An area to the east of the District has been identified as the 'Sherwood possible potential Special Protection Area (ppSPA)’ which is important for breeding woodlark and Nightjar. This area has not been formally designated and is awaiting a decision by Government.

National Sites

There are nine Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Ashfield District, representing some of the County’s richest habitats and covering approximately 125 hectares.  SSSIs are protected by specific legislation which includes a requirement for positive management.  The nine sites are:-

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


Local Sites

There are four Local Nature Reserves in Ashfield District.  These are mainly under the control of the local authority, designated in consultation with Natural England to encourage public access and enjoyment of the natural environment.  The four sites are:-

  • Portland Park, Kirkby
  • Brierly Forest Park, Sutton-in-Ashfield
  • Teversal to Pleasley Railway
  • Kingsmill Reservoir, Sutton-in-Ashfield

Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) and Local Geological Sites (LGS) are identified by the Nottinghamshire Biological and Geological Records Centre who review sites periodically to reflect updated evidence and can provide further information. 

Ancient Woodland

This 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.  Eleven Ancient Woodland sites have been identified by Natural England within Ashfield District:-

  • Healds Wood
  • Bloomer Wood
  • Bulwell Wood
  • Dawgates Wood 1
  • Dawgates Wood
  • Dovedale Wood
  • High Park Wood
  • Little Oak Plantation
  • Millington Springs
  • Normanshill/Thieves Wood
  • The Dumbles


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. The Council consults with Natural England and other appropriate wildlife organisations on any planning applications that may affect protected or notable habitats or species protected under relevant legislation or in the Nottinghamshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan.