Coal Tips to Country Parks walk
This 10-mile walk takes you on a route which passes through former coal mining sites which have now been transformed into woodlands and country parks, and by the picturesque Thornton reservoir.
Ancient woodlands and historic sites link the old and the new of the developing Forest.
Points of Interest
Bagworth Heath Woods
Created on the site of the former Desford Colliery, this 80ha country park includes lakes that were formed by mining subsidence and a woodland demonstrating different tree species and types of planting.
Bagworth Parish Council celebrated its 100th anniversary by raising funds to plant Centenary Wood.
Royal Tigers Wood
Former soldiers from the Royal Leicestershire Regiment raised funds to plant Royal Tigers Wood. It includes tree species from the various countries in which the regiment (formerly the 17th Foot) won some of its important battle honours. A granite memorial stone at the top of the hill to your left bears the regimental cap badge and alongside is a Mercer’s oak, grown from an acorn from the tree in Princeton, New Jersey, around which the surrounded 17th Foot routed part of Washington’s army in a memorable battle in 1777.
The new Holy Rood Church replaces the ancient Norman Church which collapsed as a result of mining subsidence. The new church stands on a floating foundation to prevent a recurrence and includes the salvaged Norman arch from the original building.
The incline formed part of the Leicester to Swannington railway. The first public railway, this was engineered by George and Robert Stephenson in 1832. The toll-keeper’s roundhouse, which stood at the head of the incline, disappeared only a few years ago.
Bagworth Park farmhouse, built in 1769, stands on the site of Bagworth Moats, a grand house built in 1616 and which was surrounded by an impressive moat served by its own ferry boat. Parts of the overgrown moat are still visible near the house.
Severn Trent Water opened this quiet and attractive water to visitors in 1997. The reservoir offers birdwatching, picnicking and walks connecting to the wider public footpaths network. A sculpture trail developed in partnership with East Midlands Shape is an attractive feature in the mature wood.
The earliest reference to a dwelling at Old Hayes is 1280 and the present farmhouse dates back to 1733. It is a scheduled ancient monument and still retains the original moat, crossed by a bridge with a 15th Century dovecote within. Old Hayes was one of the first Changing Landscape Scheme winners and was planted in 2008/09.