Bunny Wood is an ancient coppiced woodland which covers almost 16 hectares. British Gypsum Ltd donated the site to the Trust, in 1985.
About the Reserve
Bunny Wood is referred to in the Domesday Book and was probably used by Saxon settlers as a source of wood. In 1487 Henry VII and his army camped nearby on their way to the Battle of East Stoke. Evidence of the history of the wood includes its sinuous shape, ancient ditches along the northern and southern edges and a parish boundary to the south side of the wood. The size of the old coppice stools also gives an indication of the wood’s age.
The wood is situated on a steep north-facing slope and coppiced wych elm is the most common tree although Dutch elm disease has affected this species seriously since the 1970s. Coppiced ash is also very common and field maple is widespread. There are standards of oak and cherry and wild crab apple occurs along the southern boundary. The understorey contains regenerating coppiced wych elm, young ash, elder and hawthorn. In more open areas, bramble and nettle often dominate and there is also abundant dog’s mercury and bluebell. Other flowering plants include wood anemone, stitchwort and barren strawberry.
Great and lesser-spotted woodpeckers are amongst 50 bird species recorded. Summer visitors include spotted flycatcher, blackcap and tree pipit. Hawfinch has also been seen. Over 20 species of butterfly have been recorded including the white letter hairstreak. Other animals include fox, grey squirrel and grass snake.
The Notts Wildlife Trust is working to restore traditional coppice management, to minimise losses through Dutch elm disease and to conserve the diverse flora and fauna. Management includes cutting parts of the wood on a 15-20 year cycle, removing dead and dying wych elms, and maintenance of rides and boundaries. Much of the produce is sold for firewood but some is left standing, lying, or in habitat piles to encourage fungi, invertebrates and other fauna.
How to Get There
The main entrance is on Bunny Hill off the A60 Loughborough Road, (SK 579283). There is a public footpath to the east of the Silver Seal Mine entrance (SK583292) at Bunny, and access is also available from Wysall Lane (SK 596287). Parking is available inside the main gates. For SatNav purposes use NG11 6QQ, NG11 6QH or NG11 6QG and following the directions above. To avoid disturbing wildlife, visitors should keep to the paths and dogs should be kept on a lead. A waymarked route of numbered posts has been developed and a separate Nature Trail guide is available from the Trust office and from the dispenser in the car park. Further Information
For further details about the reserve, or if you have an interest in getting involved in the management of the site, please call the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust office on 0115 958 8242.
The Trust would like to thank British Gypsum and the Rees Jefferys Road Fund for their support in the development of this nature reserve.