The Oakham was designated as a Local Nature Reserve in 2005 and was created to replace habitats lost through the construction of Oakham Business Park. Covering 6.3 hectares, the Oakham is home to a mosaic of wet willow woodland, ponds, river, flower rich dry grassland and wet grassland.
It comprises a wide assortment of wildlife habitats ranging from flower rich dry grassland and recently planted woodland areas to wetland habitats next to the River Maun.
There is a well-maintained boardwalk and bridge over the river Maun that allows pedestrians to walk from Kings Mill reservoir through Oakham across Sheepbridge Lane onto Quarry Lane Walkway LNR and into Mansfield town centre.
Bird species recorded include Grey Heron, Kingfisher, Dipper, Nightingale, Lesser and Common Whitethroat and Green Woodpecker. Water voles use both the river and the man made scrapes, and there is a colony of the British White-clawed Crayfish in the nearby Cauldwell Brook.
The flower rich grassland areas support lots of butterflies, which include Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Brimstone and Common Blue.
To increase the habitat for amphibians and other wildlife, two connecting scrapes were created in 2000, and these have been planted with marginal plants such as lesser reedmace and water mint.
The Oakham is split into two halves, north and south. You can access the northern section off Hermitage Lane and Hamilton Way. There is also a path leading from Sheepbridge Lane.
For the southern section, entrances are at Hamilton Way and Bleak Hills Lane.
The paths are suitable for wheelchair users.
Species of interest
- White-clawed crayfish
- Grey Heron
- Lesser and Common Whitethroat
- Green Woodpecker