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.
Christmas Tree Sales
In 2014 we will be selling trees for one weekend only, the 13th and 14th December between 9am and 5pm.
Choose from hundreds of quality, UK grown real christmas trees and help to support the Sence Valley volunteers with your purchase. £3 from every tree sold is donated to the volunteer group and pays for a range of projects in the park! PLUS, visit on Sunday 14th to find Santa in his grotto, festive music and our volunteer tombola and our annual Farmer's Market - details of which can be found below.
Larger Trees and Delivery
We sell a wide range of trees but for trees larger than 7ft the best place to visit is our Birches Valley tree sales centre at Cannock Chase Forest. However, the Forestry Commission no longer offers a tree delivery service or sells trees larger than 14ft/4.2m. We recommend using Elveden Trees for very large trees who can be contacted on 01842 890423.
A range of tree stands are available for you to buy to hold your tree upright and keep it in the best condition by allowing you to water your tree regularly. Stands range in price from £20 - £30.
On Sunday 14th December there will be a Christmas Farmer's Market. A huge range of crafts, local food and drink produce and a hog roast are amongst the specialist stalls. A great experience and extra special addition to your tree purchase trip.
Tree TipsFollow our tips to help your real Christmas tree stay fresh and healthy into the New Year.
- Stand it in a bucket of water and keep it in a cool place such as a garage or shed until you are ready to take indoors for decorating.
- Before taking it indoors, cut off at least one inch (2.5 cm) from the bottom of the trunk and gently shake the tree to remove any loose needles.
- Pot the tree with the trunk immersed in water. Our woodland centres have special stands.
- Do not use sand or soil in the tree stand as they restrict water from being drawn up the trunk.
- Stand the tree in the coolest part of the room, ideally next to a window and away from radiators and fires and top it up with water daily.
Types of Tree
Rigid, upright stance makes it ideal for decorating. There is excellent retention of the broad, soft needles.
The traditional Christmas tree with a good conical structure. The fine needles are a rich green colour and have a distinctive fragrance.
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.
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.