Ancient hazel and ash coppice which is carpeted in bluebells in the Spring

Location

Wimborne Road
Blandford Forum
Dorset
DT11 9JJ

OS Map Reference

ST9280504854
A static map of Ashley Wood

Know before you go

Size
13 hectares

Entry fee

N/A

Parking information

No parking available onsite, please park in the village.

Bicycle parking

No

Grazing animals

None

Walking trails

There are permissive paths through the wood. 

Please click here for more information and guidance about dogs on DWT nature reserves.

Access

A map and other site details can be found on the information board just inside the main entrance.  From there a network of rides enables access around the reserve, meeting up with a public footpath at the north end of the site. The ground is generally not steep, but is occasionally uneven.  Be mindful of the risk of falling branches during of after strong winds. General information about visiting our reserves can be found here.

Access along rides potentially wet and uneven but fairly level. Field gate at main entrance. 

Dogs

On a lead
Please remove dog mess from site. See above for more information about dogs on nature reserves.

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

Spring and Summer

About the reserve

Imagine standing in the centre of a wood, ancient ash and hazel surround you and there is a carpet of wood anemones and bluebells at your feet. Woodland birds sing all around you. This is Ashley Wood at its spring time finery.

Spring and summer is a wonderful time to visit this incredible wild wood. Dorset Wildlife Trust acquired and started working on the reserve in 1999. One of the first things we did was to reinstate a coppice-with-standards management system. This has created a varied woodland structure with wide sunny rides, perfect for butterflies such as speckled wood, white admiral and silver-washed fritillary.

Various species of bat use the wood, including the rare Bechstein’s bat. These beautiful tree-dwelling bats feed on invertebrates like spiders and resting day-flying insects which they swoop down and grab from their hiding places on leaves and branches. While the carpet of wood anemones and bluebells might grab most of your attention in spring, keep an eye out for other flowers, such as primrose, pignut, early purple orchid and orpine.

Useful Information

Adjacent to the B3082 Wimborne Road at Tarrant Keyneston, 4km east of Blandford.  Travelling south on the B3082, approximately 500m past Ashley Wood Garage there is a track on the left, just before the houses, into the reserve.  Access is by foot only through the field gate at the end of the track.  No parking available on site but you should be able to park in the village and follow one of several public footpaths leading towards the wood.

Contact us

Environmental designation

Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI)
Ashley Wood Reserve Map

Ashley Wood Reserve Map