OS: 130 GR: TF 094161 Map ref: 14
2.70 hectares (6.60acres) Leasehold 1975 and Freehold
Habitat type: Woodland and Grassland
Location and Access
The wood lies to the south-west of the village of Thurlby, approximately 4 km (2.5 miles) south of Bourne. Cars may be parked on the roadside along Obthorpe Lane, which runs south from Thurlby and roughly parallel to and west of the A15. The track to the reserve lies to the west of Obthorpe Lane, about 500 m from the village. It is a further 500 m walk down the track to the entrance. Visitors are requested to keep to the perimeter pathway.
Description and ManagementDole Wood is a fragment of the formerly extensive primary woodland cover of South Kesteven. The wood consists mainly of oak standards with hazel coppice. There are also ash, field maple, wych elm and wild service tree. Both common and midland hawthorns can be seen in the understorey.
Bluebell, wood anemone and stitchwort are the most abundant species in the ground flora. Wood-sorrel, wood sage, false brome, enchanter's-nightshade, bugle, yellow archangel and sweet woodruff can also be seen. Birds include lesser and great spotted woodpeckers, treecreeper, whitethroat, blackcap, willow warbler and spotted flycatcher. Over 120 species of moth have been identified within the reserve.
Management consists of bramble control, re-establishment of a coppice rotation and maintenance of some permanent glades.
The Dole Wood Extension
In 2005, an extension to Dole Wood was bought covering around 13 acres of woodland, grassland and disused railway. Like the existing nature reserve, which is leased from a local landowner, the new four acre woodland extension is ancient deciduous woodland of old coppice-with-standards and includes some fine specimens of small-leaved lime. The grassland and disused railway are good for nesting birds and many wildflowers. A local appeal raised money to assist with the costs of acquisition and initial management.
The grassland area will gradually be allowed to revert back to woodland and a fringe of woodland scrub trees and some oaks have been planted to accelerate the process.
Origin of the name
There are several possibilities how the Wood might have got its name. Dole can mean a share or portion. It could have been a division of property or common over which one person has the right to cut fuel. Two other possibilities are:
Doles: short handles on scythes
A Dole Axe: a tool used for dividing slats for wattle gates