Snipe Dales

Snipe Dales

Robert Enderby

Dogs permitted on Country Park
Accessible routes
Three walking trails
Toilets available

Snipe Dales Country Park and Nature Reserve

The attractive valleys of Snipe Dales, fretted by streams, offer wonderful views of the southern Lincolnshire Wolds. The reserve has one of the few surviving semi-natural we valley systems, while the Country Park offers mixed woodland walks. This diversity supports a wide range of birds and other wildlife including butterflies and dragonflies. 

What’s on

Visitor information

Guy Edwardes/2020VISION

Know before you go

Facilities

  • Picnic area
  • Toilets
  • Disabled toilet

Dogs

Dogs are only permitted on a short lead in the Country Park, not the nature reserve.

Access

Paths can be steep and muddy in places. Wheelchair users may gain access to the marsh area by car, access must be arranged in advance by contacting the warden.

Opening times

Reserve open at all times.
The best times to visit are between April to July.

Group visits

Any organised groups wishing to visit a reserve must fill in a Group Visit Form at least one month in advance of their visit. You can find the form on our group visit page.

Alternatively if you are looking to bring a school group, please contact snipedales@lincstrust.co.uk.

Car park

There is a £1 charge for car parking at Snipe Dales.

A combined car parking season ticket for Snipe Dales and Gibraltar Point is available for £10 for 12 months. The season ticket is available at the Snipe Dales Office, Gibraltar Point Visitor Centre or by post from:

Banovallum House
Manor House Street
Horncastle
LN9 5HF

Please make cheques payable to "Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust". Mark your envelope CPST and enclose a stamped addressed envelope.

Location and contact details

Snipe Dales Nature Reserve
Lusby
Spilsby
PE23 4JB

Please note, this postcode is for the nearest registered address as we are unable to get postcodes for nature reserves.

OS Map Reference: TF 319 683

Contact number: 01507 588401
Contact email: snipedales@lincstrust.co.uk

Habitats and species

Snipe Dales is an area of two halves with mixed woodland in the Country Park and wet valleys, grassland and scrub in the nature reserve. This diversity supports a wide range of birds and other wildlife including butterflies and dragonflies.

Walking through the landscape is pleasant at any time of year. In autumn and winter, treecreepers and goldcrests forage in the woodlands, along with siskin and brambling. In the spring, with the return of migrating warblers and the breeding season getting underway, the valleys and woods are filled with bird song.

Blackcap

Amy Lewis

Country Park and woodland

 

The woodland of the Country Park is chiefly of Corsican pine, planted in 1965 with a few Scots pine, beech and other deciduous trees. The pines are being replaced with ash, oak, alder and other native broadleaved species.

During the nesting season the woods are alive with bird song. Willow warbler, blackcap, chaffinch and blue, great and coal tit are common. Other birds include treecreeper, goldcrest, wren, long-tailed tit and great spotted woodpecker. Tawny owl and barn owl are frequent visitors, and sparrowhawk and kestrel can often be seen.

Lady's Smock

Tom Marshall

Peasam Hill

 

This area of the reserve was fenced off to allow grazing to be restored to help encourage plants that like a short turf. In the absence of grazing, dense vegetation can shade out these sensitive plants.

Wildflowers include common spotted orchid, ragged robin, meadowsweet and lady’s smock, and, in the wetter areas beneath the spring line, water avens, marsh bedstraw, watercress and water figwort. Snipe were once common, though are now a rare sight, but meadow pipit and reed bunting breed here.

Dragonfly

Neill Talbot

Central Flushes

 

Previously, artificial dams created man-made ponds. These have been removed to create more natural flushes where the streams converge, providing a natural habitat for a variety of dragonflies and damselflies .

Snipe Dales

Rachel Shaw

Periwinkle Wood

 

Periwinkle Wood is an area of woodland planted in 1974, consisting of oak, beech, ash, Scots and Corsican pine, and larch. The pine and larch are slowly being thinned out to allow the broadleaved species to florish.

Holly Blue Butterfly

Rachel Scopes

Furze Hill

 

This small nature reserve is a wonderful place for butterflies. Peacock, painted lady, holly blue and small tortoiseshell are just a few that feed here, especially on thistles and bramble. Owls, treecreeper, whitethroat, linnets and many other finches feed and breed here.

The site of an old watermill can also be found amongst the undergrowth. Nearby, growing over the stream is a venerable old willow.

For more information, visit our dedicated Furze Hill and Sow Dale reserve pages.

Snipe Dales meadow

Robert Enderby

Beckside Meadow

 

Beckside Meadow is an extension to the Snipe Dales Country Park and Nature Reserve, purchased by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust in 1992. It is being restored as a wildflower meadow which will begin to support a whole host of wildlife.

Kestrel

Bob Coyle

Oak Wood

 

Oak Wood is an area of broadleaved woodland planted in 1988. This predominantly oak wood, with some small leaved lime, hornbeam and ash, will help to shape the future look of Snipe Dales as the pines are slowly thinned and replaced. The open nature of this area provides a good hunting ground for owls, kestrel and sparrowhawk.

Walks and trails

Snipe Dales offers three waymarked trails that can be enjoyed throughout the year. These include the 'There and Back Trail' - a one mile linear walk; the 'Country Park Trail' - a one and a quarter mile circular walk through the Country Park woodlands; and the 'Snipe Dales Round' - a three and a half mile circular walk through the reserve.

The first two of these walks are also suitable for dogs as they pass through the Country Park only. 

Download your trail map below or pick yours up from the Wardens Office!

Wild Weekends

 

There's plenty more to see and do around Snipe Dales, whether you're looking for long walks through the Lincolnshire Wolds, a family bike ride in the countryside or a break away to take in the local culture.

Why not turn your visit wild, and make a weekend of it!

Go WILD!

Tom Marshall

Keep in touch

Give our main pages a follow for regular updates on social media or search for a nearby event or wildlife talk.