Enjoy some quality time outdoors with family and friends at Sence Valley. Activities at the park include fishing on one of the lakes, a bridleway and surfaced trails which provide access for walkers, cyclists and are wheelchair accessible.
Surfaced trails run throughout the woodland, and around the lakes. All surfaced trails are fully accessible although the paths leading from the top car park to the lakes are relatively steep. Some informal tracks through the trees are being created with the on-site volunteer group to provide alternative routes around the site, these informal trails are uneven and may be muddy at certain times of year.
A cycle route through the park links Heather village to the A447 Ravenstone Road at Ibstock.
There are 3 picnic areas within the grounds. Near to both car parks and also at a scenic point next to Horseshoe Lake.
Learning at Sence Valley
Sence Valley offers a fantastic learning opportunity for people of all ages and abilities, combining hands-on education with ideas for active minds.
NEW - Onsite learning provider: A new purpose built pre-school is now running out of Sence Valley. For more information contact Mini Explorers.
The history of Sence Valley
From 1982 to 1996 this section of Sence Valley formed part of a large opencast mining area which covered appoximately 186 hectares (460 acres). During this period approximately 8 million tonnes of coals was extracted from the site for use as fuel in the power industry. In 1996 when coal extraction had finished the soil was compacted, cultivated and a drainage system installed. 60 hectares (150 acres) were given over to Leicestershire County Council to form the forest park and in the winter of 1998 around 98,000 trees were planted to restore the landscape that we see here today.
Sence Valley Forest Park is a wonderful example of how a disused opencast colliery can be transformed into a diverse wildlife haven. After being planted with over 98,000 trees this 150 acre site was opened to the public in September 1998 as part of The National Forest. The park contains woodland, lakes linking to the River Sence, grassland and a wildflower meadow.
Thanks to the varied habitat 150 bird species have been recorded at the park. An artificial Sand Martin nesting wall has also been constructed alongside the Horseshoe Lake. This along with the bird hide makes the site an excellent spot for birdwatchers.friendly.
A leaflet containing a map of the site is available to download here as a pdf. Please note: the contact details for obtaining a fishing permit have now changed. If you would like to fish on Sence Valley, please contact us using the details below.
The National Forest
The National Forest is an area of 200 square miles across the 3 counties of Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire, where massive woodland creation and countryside tranformation is being carried out. The forest is being expanded, with the aim of linking the ancient Forests of Charnwood and Needwood, for the benefit of local communities and wildlife.
New woodlands will complement ancient woodland, meadows, lakes and rivers, parks, towns and other visitor attractions to create a new forest for the nation.
The National Forest EXPLORE leaflet, giving a map of where the Forestry Commission sites are in the area, is available here to download as a pdf.
What do other visitors say?
5 StarsSHIRLEY, 5/May/2014
We were very impressed and thought it was a beautiful place. The pathways are wide and clean. What would have been nice to see would have been an island in the middle of the lake for birds to roost on.
4 StarsDan, 18/May/2013
Short circular walk great for little children