Wildlife & Woodlands - The Calke walk
This 5¼-mile walk takes you through the undulating Calke Uplands, where there are superb views across the Trent Valley and beyond.
Historic villages and Calke Abbey combine with new National Forest woodlands to create a truly varied experience.
Points of Interest
Herons and little grebes can sometimes be seen here and during the summer large numbers of dragonflies and damselflies can be seen.
During the spring and early summer the hawthorn bushes towards the far end of this path are a good place to stand and listen for birdsong. Blackcaps, garden warblers, chaffinch and willow warbler can sometimes be heard. The large trees on the left after the stile are small leaved limes, as with the large oaks, these are another native tree that is an indicator of the site being an ancient forest.
If you visit in mid-March or April, look out for the lambs and sheep in this area, the Calke Abbey flock of sheep is looked after in this area.
The 82 trees in the lime avenue were planted in 1846 to celebrate the birth of Vauncy Harpur Crewe, last Baronet of Calke.
Vee’s Wood was planted in 2000. It has a strong nature conservation focus, with pools, hedges, bat and bird boxes, a deer hide and an orchard with traditional varieties of fruit.
The farmhouse at St Brides Farm contains evidence of Norman stonework recycled into its structure and is believed to have been a grange or wayside chapel connected with one of the local monasteries. A number of interesting artefacts have been unearthed over the years - a graveyard in 1852, stone coffins in 1880 and recently, a pre-Reformation (16th Century) priestly burial complete with pewter chalice - all confirming the religious connections of St Brides.