Shirebrook Pit Wood Centred at SK536670
 
Situation Shirebrook Wood is on the site of the former Shirebrook Pit Top and lies between Sookholme village and Shirebrook at SK 536 670. Although some of this extensive site lies over the Derbyshire border, the interesting (and wildlife friendly) part lies in Notts.

Parking and access The site can be accessed from Sookholme village, turning into the fishermans car park at approximately SK 543 669.

Description and habitat As a former pit top site, Shirebrook Wood is (at first glance) very similar to the former pit tops of Warsop Main and Bevercotes. There has been the usual large-scale planting of native shrubs and trees and the whole site has been totally landscaped from the days when I regularly visited the site during the early 1990's. The Derbyshire side has now been turned over to industrial development, leaving Nottinghamshire to benefit from some brand new habitat.

 
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Some landscaping and the creation of more water areas, means that the site will attract an array of insects and birds. There is a well developed ground flora over the whole site including the occasional Orchid.
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Wildlife Limited information is available. I only occasionally visit this popular dog walking site, but there should be a great deal to interest most visitors.

Birds Green Sandpiper used to Winter here, whilst Ringed and Little Ringed Plover were regular. A Temminck's Stint in the mid-90's represents the site's rarest record. Other waders and probably both Common and Arctic Tern are very likely in Spring.

Meadow Pipit,Tree Pipit and Sky Lark are present in numbers and a recent July visit saw two male Grasshopper Warblers singing from the scrub areas. There are several breeding Reed Warblers that have benefitted from the site's development. Whetears used to be regular and should still occur on passage.

Like any pit top, Shirebrook Wood has considerable rarity potential.

 
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Moths Sallow Kitten, Puss Moth and Eyed Hawk-moth should be present. The site desperately needs surveying for all lepidoptera.

Butterflies All the common species are present and another likely site for turning up Brown Argus, Dingy and Grizzled Skipper.

Dragonflies Emperor Dragonfly, Four-spotted Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Azure, Blue-tailed and Common Blue damselflies are found here. Regular visits will no doubt turn up more. The network of various sized ponds and small lakes make this ideal habitat.

Summary Another excellent site. Although rather popular with dog walkers, Shirebrook Wood will turn up a range of birds and insects throughout any year.

 
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