Duke’s Wood | Nature Reserves | Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
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Duke’s Wood

Duke’s Wood This woodland nature reserve is also an important historical site. Duke's Wood witnessed the pioneering days of one of this country’s important industries, being the location of the UK's first onshore oilfield. Visitors can follow the Duke's Woord Trail - a chance to stroll through the trees and learn about the natural and historical significance of this area. Enjoy the spring flowers and birdsong, and more flowers and butterflies during the summer.

How to get to Duke’s Wood

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The entrance to the reserve (SK675602) is off the minor road to Eakring, which leaves the A617 near Kirklington, east of Mansfield. If using SatNav, enter NG22 0DR and follow the directions above.


This eight hectare reserve is a mixed woodland and industrial archaeology site. It is owned by the Trust having been donated to them by BP Petroleum Development Ltd., the operator of the oilfield. The area is part of a nationally-designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the remainder of which is private.

The Duke’s Wood Trail is the product of co-operation between industry and the Trust. and demonstrates the features of an area of ancient and secondary woodland which witnessed the pioneering days of one of this country’s most important industries. Duke’s Wood and the area around it was the location of the UK’s first onshore oilfield and produced 280,000 tons of oil between 1939 and 1966. Some of the pumps, known as “nodding donkeys”, have been restored and are sited around the wood adjacent to the trail. Dukes Wood Oil Museum is manned by volunteers - for details of opening times, contact Kevin Topham on 01623 882 446.

The wood is situated on heavy clay soils on a ridge of high ground and is dominated by oak, ash, hazel and birch. Most of the elm that was present has been killed by Dutch elm disease. Guelder rose, dogwood, wild privet and elder can be found in the shrub layer. and the usual woodland birds can be seen in summer including blackcap, garden warbler and spotted flycatcher. Great spotted woodpecker and jay are also regularly seen.

The interesting ground flora includes cowslip, primrose, dog violet, bluebell, wood anemone, wood sorrel, yellow archangel and broad-leaved helleborine. Butterflies seen regularly include common blue, comma, peacock, brimstone and gatekeeper, and the increasingly rare wall brown might be seen. Roe deer, fox, stoat and badger also occur but are rarely seen.

For some more pictures of the reserve please go to our flickr set
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157627170059226/

Membership helps us maintain the site for the benefit of both people and wildlife.
Donations are also vital to help support our reserves, so please consider making a one off donation by texting NWTR01 £10 to 70070. [Feel free to vary the cash figure after the £sign.]


The Duke's Wood Trail is an industrial archaeological nature trail that was first opened in 1987.

Opening times

The reserve is open to the public at all times and visitors are asked to stick to the paths and keep any dogs on a lead. School parties are particularly welcome and bookings can be arranged through the Trust office


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