The origins of Cockglode and Rotary Woods are complex. Cockglode Wood has ancient origins, being a remnant of the woodland that covered the area long before it became the Royal Hunting Forest of Sherwood. The bluebells and dog’s mercury that appear in the wood every spring are clues to these ancient beginnings. Among the ancient woodland are exotic trees and shrubs (those not native to the UK), for example, false acacia and rhododendron. These are the legacy of the gardens of Cockglode House that now lies buried under the spoil tip on which Rotary Wood stands. Rotary Wood is the exact opposite of Cockglode Wood, being very young. The trees were planted on the restored spoil tip of Thoresby Colliery in 1998 – 1999 to celebrate the Millennium. The planting was undertaken by a group of local Rotary Clubs, giving us the name, Rotary Wood.
Both Cockglode and Rotary Woods contain a variety of habitats, which are managed to ensure that their importance for nature is maintained. Within the ancient woodland of Cockglode thinning of some trees is undertaken. This allows more light to reach the woodland floor, allowing wildflowers to flourish and trees of different ages to grow. In the more open areas bracken rolling takes place during the late summer months.
This reduces the bracken cover, allowing plants typical of lowland heath to colonise the clearings. The neighbouring Sherwood Heath is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and one of the most important heathland sites in the Country. Managing the heathland and extending its area is a significant management aim. Although much younger, Rotary Wood provides a home for a variety of species. Various butterflies and other insects take advantage of the maturing woodland and wide grassy paths. Ground nesting birds, such as skylarks, find safe nesting sites in the open areas of rough grassland within the woodland. Much of the habitat management work is done on a voluntary basis by the Friends of Sherwood Heath in conjunction with the Sherwood Forest Community Rangers. Contact us to find out more about volunteering.
As well as the wide range of wildlife, Rotary Wood boasts fantastic views of the surrounding Sherwood landscape. This is easily accessed via the circular Rotary Walk. From the top of Rotary Wood it is possible to see over Cockglode Wood towards Boughton Pumping Station as well as towards Sherwood Forest Country Park and the village of Edwinstowe with its prominent church spire.