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Explore Sence Valley
(Average user rating: 4 unrated 3.8/5)

Enjoy some quality time outsdoors with family and friends at Sence Valley. Opportunities for recreation at the park include fishing on one of the lakes, a bridleway and surfaced trails which provide access for walkers, cyclists and are wheelchair.

Walking

Three public footpaths already run through this new planting site and new footpaths will be created to take walkers through the new planting as well as the existing woodland.

Cycling

A cycle route links Heather village to the A447 Ravenstone Road at Ibstock.

Play

The site has an outdoor adventure play ground with equipment designed for all ages as well as a natural play area and indoor soft play facility for younger children.

Picnic sites

There are 3 picnic areas within the grounds.

Learning at Sence Valley

Sense 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 Sense 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 Stars 5 Stars

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.

SHIRLEY, 5/May/2014
4 Stars 4 Stars

Short circular walk great for little children

Dan, 18/May/2013
5 Stars 5 Stars

Short walk but beautiful view Would recommend to anyone

barry , 22/May/2012
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Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at info_nationalforest@forestry.gsi.gov.uk if you have an enquiry or would like a reply to your comments.

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What's Here?

  • Barbeque
  • Educational
  • Visitor centre
  • Arts
  • Look out for one of six Noon Columns that are dotted across The National Forest.
  • Cycling
  • A cycle route links Heather village to the A447 Ravenstone Road at Ibstock.
  • Fishing
  • Allowed on Goss Water by permit. Contact the office on 01889 586593.
  • Horse riding
  • A Bridleway links Heather village to the A447 Ravenstone Road at Ibstock. See OS Explorer Map 245 for more details.
  • Ancient Monuments
  • The National Trust owned Staunton Harold Chapel is accessible from the car park.
  • Orienteering
  • Orienteering is an activity that improves map reading and navigational skills. You can run, jog or walk courses of various lengths and difficulty and it is enjoyed by all ages from under 5 to over 90. Free maps and information from Leicestershire Orienteering Club.
  • Picnic
  • There are 3 picnic areas within the grounds.
  • Play area
  • The site has an outdoor adventure play ground with equipment designed for all ages as well as a natural play area and indoor soft play facility for younger children.
  • Walking
  • Three public footpaths already run through this new planting site and new footpaths will be created to take walkers through the new planting as well as the existing woodland.
  • Wildlife
  • A Bird Hide over looks Stonebridge Pool and a seasonal wetland scrape.
More about what's here

Location

OS Grid ref: SK 404113
Postcode: LE67 6NW

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Contact

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified