Originally a former colliery site, the park has been transformed into a wildlife haven with nature walks covering over two miles. The park's 100 hectares (250 acres) provide many trails, nature conservation areas, recreation facilities (such as a golf club and a football pitch), art and sculptures, a play trail and areas of local historical interest.
The most outstanding feature of Sutton Colliery, also known locally as Brierley Pit was the pit tip that smouldered and glowed red at night time. Take a walk up Rooley Lane towards the site of the old railway bridge and the former mine. The miners would walk this route each day up to Sutton Colliery.
The grey spoil mound that was clearly visible from around the park has now been transformed by the planting of trees.
The winding wheels from the colliery have been installed on the path to Brierley Waters, a large pond created in 1998 and planted with a range of floating, emergent, marginal and submerged plants. A picnic area is sited adjacent to the pond.
Wildflower meadows have been sown with native species such as yarrow and ox-eye daisy, and wetland areas created. A wide variety of wildlife now flourishes in the park, for example a large population of skylarks nest on the spoil heap. Other residents include foxes, owls, meadow pipits and lapwings.
Brierley Forest Park Visitor Centre offers refreshments, exhibitions and information. The forest is acclaimed as the largest urban community forest in the East Midlands.