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Explore Birklands
(Average user rating: unrated unrated)

Birklands is a large fragment of Sherwood Forest one of the most famous forests in the world. 

With an extensive path network, varied history and special wildlife its a fantastic place to explore.

Birklands is a Viking word meaning ‘Birch Land’ and is first mentioned in documents in 1251. The wood was the property of the crown for nearly 600 years and was used as a source of timber, grazing land and as an exclusive hunting ground rich with wild deer for successive Kings and Queens of England.

Nightjars, glow worms and thousands of other species rely on the unique habitat of Birklands.

Rights of way pass through this wood allowing access for cyclists and horse riders along with walkers. Why not get out and walk the Thynghowe Trail and investigate some local history along the way.

What do other visitors say?

The harvesting work currently being carried out in Birklands has destroyed significant areas of wildlife habitat. In many parts the damage beggars belief, leaving the land looks more like a 1st world war scene from The Somme. This is one of the last places in Notts where Glow Worms can still be found. I fear this intensive and indiscriminate operation will have killed off many rare invertebrates and pushed the existence of Glow Worms in the county closer to the edge of extinction.

Martin Dale, 28/Feb/2014

Hello Martin, the current harvesting work is part of a wider management plan for the whole of the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve. The conifers removal is part of a process of recreating what Sherwood Forest once was. Timings for this work were agreed in consultation with Natural England, in order to minimise long term effects on this habitat. Unfortunately, this does mean in the short term, the effects are visually unappealing. It hasn’t helped matters that it has been the wettest winter on record! We know that Sherwood Forest is home to over 1000 beetle and spider species, many of which are rare and would be disturbed if this work was to be carried out over the drier summer months. The felling for the first phase will be finished by the end of March and all the timber removed by the end of April. Over time this area will grow over and natural regeneration will occur, with native species such as birch, oak and rowan. Please be assured that we have done all we could to minimise both the long and short term impacts of the operation on the woodland habitat. If you have any other queries please dont hesitate to get in contact.

Forestry Commission Response

I walk in the forest every day and have always enjoyed walking along the bridle paths. However, some have become totally impassable since heavy vehicles used by the forestry commission have caused deep ruts which have become quagmires. Are they going to sort it out?

Cherry Tompsett , 21/Jan/2014

Hi Cherry, the harvesting work which is causing the problem should be finished in the next few weeks. The paths will all be repaired once this work is complete. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused. Please continue to enjoy a different part of the forest until the work is completed.

Forestry Commission Response

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Last updated: 25th August 2016

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What's Here?

  • Cycling
  • Walking
  • Horse riding
  • Horse riding is allowed through the wood along bridleways but not throughout the wider forest.
  • Orienteering
  • Please contact Notts Orienteering Club.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: SK602681

Get directions


Sherwood Forest Community Rangers
0300 067 5443

Related documents

Useful sites

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.