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It is one of the largest new housing estates in Europe and, as such, is a major settlement in its own right. It is situated on the outskirts of the city, bordering the suburb of Chaddesden, which is one of the largest council housing estates in England. Oakwood is built on land which used to be known as Chaddesden Common, It has three clusters of shops, the largest of which has all the amenities of a large village. The last new houses to be built in Oakwood were completed towards the end of 2001.
The original oak wood, from which the area is named, has been preserved as Chaddesden Wood Nature Reserve, and is maintained by the council. It is the only ancient oak woodland in the city of Derby. In 1991, it was declared a local nature reserve. The wood contains a nature trail open to the public, roughly half a mile long. This is a popular resource for the people of North Derby and in Spring the wood is covered by a carpet of bluebells as can be seen in the photograph on this page. A Year-Long Timelapse Walk around Chaddesden Wood
There is also a sizeable park surrounding a modern community centre, as well as many smaller areas, or "green wedges" that have been designed to provide routes throughout the estate for use by walkers and wildlife.
A leisure centre, a school and a football academy are also situated within Oakwood. The leisure centre was first planned by a private businessman before being taken over and completed by the council. In 2008 the leisure centre was expanded to include a much enlarged gym and a library opened. The school promised from early on in the development of Oakwood is a primary school (ages 3–11) that caters for some of the children living within the local community (although it is far too small to cater for all of them). The football academy at Moor Farm is owned by Derby County Football Club who moved to the premises from their old training ground, the RamArena, at Raynesway.
There are still remains of an old small railway line on the green area at the roundabout of Oakwood Drive and Bishops Drive. This small railway was privately owned and is thought to have stretched south down to the old Chaddesden village and as far north as the old mainline just north of the suburb.
Oakwood also contains a nunnery which is the headquarters for the Community of the Holy Name. The convent moved to Oakwood in 1990 and provides accommodation for about 20 sisters who can be seen walking around Oakwood or being involved in the local and city church services.
-  Oakwood news from the Derby Telegraph
-  Community of the Holy Name