Idle Valley Nature Reserve (Notts Wildlife Trust), Retford

4.5
#1 of 6 in Parks in Retford
The Idle Valley Nature Reserve is a wetland Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) situated north-west of the town of Retford in the Bassetlaw district of north Nottinghamshire. The nature reserve is situated along the western bank of the River Idle and east of the villages of Sutton cum Lound and Lound. The nature reserve is managed by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.HistoryThe lakes within the nature reserve have been formed over seventy years of extraction of gravel and other aggregates, and since 1981 by Tarmac Limited. Tarmac agreed to hand over all of its land within the SSSI to the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. In 2002, Natural England designated the site, formally known as the Sutton And Lound Gravel Pits, a SSSI. The Idle Valley Learning Centre which offers diploma courses in environmental conservation from North Nottinghamshire College was opened in 2008 and is owned by the college. The nature reserve received £1 million in Lottery funding in 2008. Paths, fencing and clearing of land has also taken place since the handover of the land, the efforts of which in 2011 won Tarmac the Mineral Products Association Cooper-Heyman Cup double award.
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Idle Valley Nature Reserve (Notts Wildlife Trust) Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
309 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • This place is brilliant for bird watching & just generally walking out. The lakes are lovely with lots of bird life & the walks are all well kept pathways. The cafe serves nice food & they bake daily....  more »
  • I really like Idle valley but I was disappointed on this occasion. We met our daughter and her family for a leisurely stroll and then coffee and cake. The que at the food counter never died down but....  more »
Google
  • Well organised with good facilities. We did the long walk but felt that we didn't see enough of the lakes and would have liked to be closer to more of the waterside areas. After doing the walk,we went to the cafe to find it was closing at 3 pm ( school holidays! ) and hot food was running out. Okay but could have been better if the place was more focused on the visitors it's trying to attract.
  • I've only given this 3 stars due to the following, I have been here many times as I live local and each year less is done to maintain the actual reserve and all efforts seem to go into the cafe. Only 1 bin on the reserve walk for dog poo, more bins are needed, the only bin is usually overflowing with poo bags which in turn encourages flies, rats etc. Only one bench on the reserve itself, more benches would encourage people to stay longer and bring a picnic. Hedges over grown and only limited viewing areas of the lake, not good for being able to spot the wildlife. No hides on the waters edge, lots of litter in the lake including a shopping trolley, wooden pallets on the far side. Food is very good and fairly priced although more outdoor seeing would be better, more and more cafes allow well behaved dogs in side, this is still very dog and dog owner unfriendly. This place could be a real gem if more effort was put into the reserve by the staff and more encouraging efforts made to attract more wildlife.
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