The Teversal Trails are an approximately four mile long circular route on the Nottinghamshire – Derbyshire border. They form part of the Pleasley Trails Network that also includes the Meden Trail and the Rowthorne Trail. All of these Trails are former railway lines closed during the mid-1900s since when plants and animals have colonised the track beds and embankments. This has resulted in the attractive trails seen today.
The railway line to Teversal was the first to open in 1866. This was followed by the Rowthorne Branch in 1883 and the lines to Pleasley and Silverhill Colliery in 1898. This expansion of the rail network was all associated with the expansion of the collieries in the area. From the 1930s the use of these lines was declining. The first to close was the Rowthorne line in 1938. In 1978 the Teversal to Pleasley line was the last line of this network to be closed. Since closure the expansion of nature on the trails has been such that they now form all or part of two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)and five Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs).
The trails support a mosaic of habitats including calcareous grassland communities. These are grassland communities that exist on limestone bedrock. The species present include tor grass, yellow oat grass, field scabious, hawkweed and quaking grass. The calcareous grassland forms the dominant habitat within the Teversal – Pleasley Railway SSSI and is found within the Teversal Pastures SSSI. This grassland is among the few remaining areas of limestone grassland in Nottinghamshire and is of regional importance. Other habitats making up the mosaic include mesotrophic grassland, scrub and semi-mature woodland. Within this mosaic of habitats a number of rare plants and animals exist. Among the rarest plants is the frog orchid, which is extinct in most places in central and eastern England. Other rare plants include the fragrant orchid, common spotted orchid, greater burnet-saxifrage, bee orchid and dittander. The rare fauna includes the butterflies dingy and grizzled skippers, both of which appear in the Nottinghamshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP).
The Teversal Trails Visitor Centre opened in 1993 and now provides an excellent place from which to access the Trails. There is ample free parking and the Centre is open everyday from 10:30am to 3:45pm (subject to volunteer availability). A number of circular walks have been developed which cater for everything from a short stroll to a long walk in the countryside. Please visit the Teversal Trails web site at www.teversaltrails.com for more information about the walks and the Visitor Centre.