Oak Tree Heath
Oak Tree Lane Heath was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1989 as part of the Strawberry Hills Heath SSSI for its botanical interest, which is typical of lowland heaths including Bell Heather, Calluna (Hoary Ling) and Wavy hair-grass. The site was given Local Nature Reserve (LNR) status in 2004 and is one of the few remaining areas of lowland heathland left in the county.
Oak Tree Lane Heath is located approximately 2 miles south east of Mansfield Town Centre, just off of Jubilee Way South, close to the A617 at SK568603. The main entrance off Jubilee Way South is marked by wooden sculptures and interpretation signs. Several paths around the heath are suitable for wheelchair users. You can also get to Oak Tree Heath from the Oak Tree Leisure Centre and along a path leading from Sawley Drive.
The total area of 11 hectares is owned by Mansfield District Council and managed on their behalf by the Sherwood Forest Trust. The main habitat at Oak Tree Heath is lowland heathland, which is a nationally rare habitat.
Oak Tree Lane Heath is characteristic of Sherwood Forest and is full of history, once being part of the mediaeval royal hunting forest including cattle and sheep. Today the site is sensitively managed to ensure the habitats are protected for the future. This includes removing encroaching scrub, bracken treatment and rotationally cutting heather to create different age structures which benefits wildlife.
The heath has a thriving reptile population making it one of the most important sites in the county for Common Lizard, with over sixty sightings recorded. It is also home to a wide range of birds and insects, the most noticeable being butterflies. The area is an important refuge for wildlife on the edge of Mansfield’s urban fringe.
Species of interest
- Bell Heather
- Calluna (Hoary Ling)
- Wavy hair-grass
- Common Lizard