Corporate report

Nottinghamshire's National Nature Reserve

Published 1 October 2014

Applies to England

Sherwood Forest

Once part of the 10,000 acre Royal Forest of Sherwood, the woodland is dominated by native oaks and other native trees such as silver birch, rowan, holly and hawthorn.

The reserve contains more than a thousand ancient oaks most of which are known to be more than 500 years old. The most famous of these, the Major Oak, may be nearly twice that age.

The reserve comprises the ancient forests of Birklands and Budby South. The name Birklands comes from the Viking phrase ‘birch land’ and the forest is thought to be over 1000 years old. Budby South Forest is an open uncultivated heathland reminiscent of the landscapes which were formerly much more extensive across Sherwood.

Main habitats: wood pasture, lowland heath

Area: 424.75 hectares

Management: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Nottinghamshire County Council and Forest Enterprise.

Features of interest

The reserve has the highest concentration of ancient trees in Europe and provides habitat for very rare invertebrates, particularly beetles, flies and spiders, many of which rely on the decaying and ageing timber of the veteran trees.

Budby South Forest, in the northern half of the site, is dominated by ling heather and supports a diverse range of insects and ground nesting birds such as woodlark, nightjar and tree pipit.


Sherwood Forest NNR is 25 kilometres north of Nottingham and 4 kilometres west of New Ollerton. Road access is from the B6034 (via the A616 or A6075). The site has a visitor centre with car parking.

The reserve is near National Cycle Network Route 6 and near a major trail, the Robin Hood Way.

The nearest train station is in Mansfield Woodhouse, 8 kilometres to the south west.

For details of bus services to the reserve see the Traveline journey planner.


At Budby South Forest, dogs must be kept on a short lead between 1 March and 31 August, to protect sensitive ground-nesting birds. Elsewhere, please keep dogs under close control at all times.


For Sherwood Forest Country Park:

Telephone: 01623 677321

Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve
NG21 9HN

For Budby South Forest:

Chloe Ryder, RSPB Senior Warden for Budby South Forest
Tel: 07718 248953