OS: 122 GR: TF 421762 Map ref: 38
15.10 hectares (37.30acres) Freehold 1980
Habitat type: Woodland
Location and Access
The wood lies at the foot of the Wolds, about 3 km (1.8 miles) west of Alford. Turn north towards South Thoresby at the Miles Cross Hill crossroads on the A1104 road half way between Ulceby Cross and Alford. After 2 km, the wood will be seen set back from the road on the right. Cars may be parked on the roadside. The wood is reached on foot along a short field track.
Description and Management
Rigsby Wood is an ancient woodland lying partly on chalky Boulder Clay and partly on glacial sands at the edge of the Wolds. Although some areas have been replanted, the reserve retains a rich ground flora, and a substantial part is old coppice of hazel and ash with standard trees of oak and ash. The path passes through a narrow section of the wood known as The Pingle in which old ridge and furrow can be detected, showing that this is not part of the ancient wood. The woodland soon opens out and the path crosses the medieval boundary bank into the old part of the wood. There is old plantation woodland on the left and old coppice on the right. In this older part of the wood, bluebells in abundance, wood anemone, wood-sorrel, early-purple orchid, sweet woodruff and ragged-robin, which is an old meadow relict species, are to be seen.
Along the old boundary between Rigsby and Haugh parishes, there is a fine medieval bank, and another one between Rigsby and Ailby Woods with large field maples. There is a good range of breeding birds, including tawny owl, great spotted woodpecker, treecreeper, finches and five species of both tits and summer warblers. Barn owls can occasionally be seen hunting along the rides. In winter woodcock, goldcrest and redpoll are frequent visitors.
Management is aimed at perpetuating primary woodland with both coppice and high forest conditions. The main ride has been considerably widened.
Supported by the
Heritage Lottery Fund