Picnic on a former colliery site in the National Forest

Donisthorpe, near Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire

A location with a difference, Oakthorpe Colliery closed in 1990 and has become a 3-hectare, prime picnic site in naturally-regenerated woodland in The National Forest.

Although the pit closed in 1990, you'll see that the shafts have been capped with concrete tops. Part of the site has been planted with ash/oak native woodland and the existing oak and hawthorn regeneration is being encouraged.

There is an open area of grassland with wild flowers and the concrete road through the site lies on the route of the former Ashby Canal.

Located in the heart of the National Forest, off the Donisthorpe to Ashby de la Zouch road, Oakthorpe Picnic Site comprises 14.8 acres (six hectares) of mixed habitats including natural regeneration woodland, maturing woodland tree plots, semi improved grassland and wildflower areas. The site is home to a wide range of both flora and fauna.

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Cycling in The National Forest© Assault course at Conkers - photographer Jacqui Rock; copyright National Forest Company

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