Situated on the southern edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, Snipe Dales is one of few semi-natural wet valley systems still surviving. These wet valleys, rough grazing, and scrub and wood land of the Nature Reserve provide good habitat for a variety of wildlife. Its 220 acres of steep-sided valleys are fretted by streams which have cut through the soft Spilsby Sandstone to the underlying Kimmeridge Clay. Breeding birds include grasshopper warbler, willow warbler, sedge warbler, meadow pipit and yellow hammer.
The western half of Snipe Dales is a Lincolnshire County Council Country Park. The two are managed together in a partnership between the Trust and the County.
Snipe Dales Country Park offers a variety of attractive walks through 36 hectares (90 acres) of mainly coniferous woodland. There are picnic tables in pleasant surroundings by the car park, as well as by the central flushes where two streams converge and in a few other secluded areas.
The woodland was previously owned by the Forestry Commission and is mainly of Corsican pine, with specimens of Scots pine and European larch. Beech grows along the southern edge of the woods, with alder, hazel and willow species in the wetter areas.
The wide ride that runs to the north-east corner of the park has some magnificent mature ash trees. Many deciduous trees and shrubs have recently been planted to give more diversity and, as sections of the pines are thinned, more plantings of native trees will gradually replace them.
Birds are best appreciated during the breeding season when bird-song and activity is greatest - at other times the pine woods may seem fairly quiet. The most abundant species are chaffinch, chiffchaff, willow warbler and wood pigeon. In addition to the familiar blue and great tits, coal tits are abundant. Willow tits and long-tailed tits also occur.
Tree creepers and goldcrests forage in the woodlands, especially in autumn and winter. Siskin have nested in the woods; when first recorded in 1985, this was only the second breeding record for Lincolnshire. These attractive little finches may be common in the woods in winter along with small numbers of bramblings, other finches and perhaps crossbills.
Both tawny and barn owls can be regularly seen, while the quick dash of a sparrowhawk may reward those with sharp eyes. Listen for the raucous cries of jays and the occasional drumming of a great spotted woodpecker.
Chiffchaff, whitethroat, lesser whitethroat and sedge warbler can be heard in many places in summer, though they can be difficult to observe. The woodcock, another secretive bird, is a regular winter visitor.
There are fewer flowering plants in the Country Park than in the Nature Reserve, although generally the same species are present. Ferns are prolific among the pines, and a good selection of fungi occur in autumn.
The path waymarked with red markers, known as the 'Snipe Dales Round', provides a walk of about 6.4 km (4 miles), taking in both the Country Park and the Nature Reserve.