PLEASE NOTE: Snipe Dales Country Park car park is open but the Nature Reserve car park remains closed. Toilet facilities are closed until further notice. Events have been cancelled to ensure the health and safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers. The Country Park & Nature Reserve will remain open. For our full statement please visit our Coronavirus update page.
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 wet 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.
Know before you go
- Picnic area
- Disabled toilet
Dogs are only permitted on a short lead in the Country Park, not the nature reserve.
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.
Sections of paths are currently wet and muddy. Sturdy/waterproof footwear is advisable (6 November 2020).
Reserve open at all times.
The best times to visit are between April to July.
Snipe Dales Country Park car park is open, Snipe Dale Nature Reserve car park is closed until further notice.
The nature reserve will remain open. For our full statement please visit our Coronavirus update page.
Location and contact details
Snipe Dales Nature Reserve
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: email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Keep in touch
Give our main pages a follow for regular updates on social media or search for a nearby event or wildlife talk.