A beautiful stretch of Nottinghamshire’s waterways has been named in a leading national magazine as one of the nation’s best waterside spots for taking in the spectacular colours of autumn.
Stoke Lock on the River Trent was named in Countryfile magazine as one of the best eight places to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of autumn on the 2,000 mile network of waterways cared for by the Trust.
The lock is surrounded by woodland which was planted after the First World War to provide a windbreak for approaching barges, making them easier to manoeuvre. Timber from the trees was also used as fuel to provide heating in the barge cabins.
Today the woodland is made up of varying tree species, all of different ages, helping to provide a variety of habitats for wildlife including six recorded species of bat. Numerous bird species including nuthatches, bullfinches, treecreepers and owls have all been recorded in the woods. The great variety of trees such as ash, hazel, beech, maple and poplar make it a great place to experience the different colours of autumn.
Volunteers working with the Trust are out throughout the year helping to care for the woodland and ensure that it remains a special place for wildlife. Stoke Woods Action Group (SWAG) have adopted the area and give their time regularly to plant trees and wildflowers, manage the woodland and create suitable habitats for wildlife. They also install and monitor habitat piles made out of brash and cut logs and install bat and owl boxes.
Sean McGinley, waterway manager for the Trust said; "Stoke Lock is an amazing place to experience autumn and it’s fantastic that it’s been recognised in Countryfile magazine.
"With so many different tree species it’s a really colourful, atmospheric place to be at this time of year and I’d encourage families to wrap up warm and explore this hidden gem.
"We’ve got a fantastic team of volunteers that help to make sure that the lockside woodlands are healthy, thriving and wonderful for wildlife all year round. Without their hard work the place just wouldn’t be the same and perhaps wouldn’t be as good as it is for taking in the beauty of autumn so we’re very grateful for their support.