Friends of
Cotgrave Country Park


The Friends Group works with Nottinghamshire County Council to improve the park and organise a wealth of activities for the local community to enjoy. Here we celebrate some of our recent successes.

Family Fun Day

In August 2021 we held our first Free Family Fun Day. About a dozen local organisations attended with stalls, and activities included face painting, crafts as well as food and drink. After a very successful and popular day, the event was repeated in 2022 and 2023 too.

Families enjoying the free Fun Day in Cotgrave Country Park.

Woodland bulb crowdfunding

In October 2023 we ran a successful crowdfunding campaign with support from the Aviva Community Fund, raising £1805 for our woodland wildflower planting project. The funds were used to purchase over 4500 bulbs, rhizomes and plug plants, including native bluebells, snowdrops, celendines, wood anemone, wild garlic and primrose. These have been planted around the the wooded areas of the park, by voluneers across three task days in early 2024, and in coming years will be a valuable food source for bees, butterflies and other invertibrates, as well as an enjoyable sight for people walking around the park.

Volunteers on a task day, planting the woodland bulbs purchased by our crowdfunder.

Wildflower meadow seeding

The Friends Group successfully obtained funding from Severn Trent Water to plant the grass areas of the park with wildflowers seeds. The seeds were sown in spring of 2021, and we can now expect to see wildflower meadow areas improving year-on-year.

Wildflower seeds have been sown around many areas of the park, creating beautiful meadows in spring and summer.

Den-building natural play areas

Volunteers on our Task Days worked with Nottinghamshire County Council to create den-building areas in the woods. We help to make these areas safer for children to play in by removing dead trees and heavier branches.

Bat boxes

Working in collaboration with Nottinghamshire Bat Group, we installed about 30 bat boxes around the park in 2021. Bats play an important role in the natural environment, helping to control insects numbers, and we were delighted to discover bats using the boxes only a year later (but please don't check yourself; bats are a protected species and you must have a license to handle or disturb them!).

Discover more about bats in the park on one of our guided Bat Walks (usually late summer / early autumn).

Tree planting

The park contains a variety of habitats, and woodland is one of the most important. To help renew the wooded areas of the park, in December 2020 we planted new trees provided by the Woodland Trust in an area of the park known as "the toe", close to Heron Lake, and look forward to watching these grow in the coming years.

Bird boxes

The park is visited by a wide variety of bird species, and to encourage more to nest here we installed more than fifty new bird boxes in 2021, which can be spotted around the woodland areas of the park. We're planning to add to this soon, with additional specialised nesting boxes for birds of prey.

A recent inspection of the bird boxes showed that most had been used for nesting.

Conversation bench

The park is a great space for people as well as for nature, and our “happy to chat” bench celebrates this by inviting you to start a conversation with a stranger! It's easy to identify as its been painted gold by our volunteer wardens.

Our “happy to chat” bench; an idea provided by one of our volunteer wardens.

Help us do more

As a volunteer group we're entirely dependent on enthusiastic people to help us achieve successes like these, and we'd love to have more people come and join us! You could become a volunteer warden, join us on a task day, support us by becoming a member, or come along to one of our meetings to help us with our next effort.

Still not sure? Email us to ask about other ways you could get involved, or to suggest a new idea of your own!