'Nodding Donkey' No 146 Wall Brown Butterfly COME AND VISIT US The Oil Patch Warrior The very rare Vetch Nissola at Dukes Wood

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Dukes Wood is a marvellous example of cooperation between the Oil industry and the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. It combines an area of ancient and secondary woodland with what was the site of the UK’s first oilfield. Some of the ‘nodding donkey’ pumps have been restored and can be seen on the trail. On the nature trial you'll find the statue of the The Oil Patch Warrior, commemorating the American 'Roughnecks of Sherwood Forest'. The wood, on a ridge of high ground, is dominated by oak, ash, hazel and birch. The shrub layer also contains guelder rose (flowering white with shiny red poisonous berries), dogwood (flowering white, black berries) and wild privet (white blossom, shiny black berries) - species that thrive in the limy soil. The area contains many species of wild orchid and also is the habitat of the rare Vetch Nissola (found only in one other location in the UK). There are usually a good many spring and early summer flowers - bluebell, primrose, wood anemone, yellow archangel among them - no less than twenty four species of butterfly have been found at Dukes Wood. Among the songbirds you may hear the Nightingale and Pipistrelle Bats have been seen roosting in the Museum. 

The land was donated to the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust in 1989 by British Petroleum.

Where is the Dukes Wood Nature Trail?

The site of the Nature trial at the former Dukes Wood Oil site is about 2 miles (3 km) south of the village of Eakring which itself is about 9 miles north-westwards of Newark. From the A617 Newark-Mansfield road, about 8 miles from Newark, just past Kirklington, take the side road north towards Eakring. You pass Whip Ridding Farm on the right, then a stretch of woodland on the right. Shortly after this is White Stub Lane on the right, which leads to the reserve entrance. There is some car parking here close to the road. Please keep to the marked trails and paths and keep dogs on leads.

The Oil Museum at Newark

The Museum was situated on the road from the A617 towards Eakring but has now moved to Kelham Hall near Newark where the Roughnecks lived during the Second World War when it was a Monastery. This museum contains many artifacts and pictures dealing with the story of UK Oil fields both offshore and onshore and the triumphs and the tragedies of the people who discovered and produced Oil and Gas sometimes in times of great national need.

The Nature Trail situated close to Eakring still contains a nature walk run by the Nottingham Wildlife Trust where you can see five Pump Jacks (nodding donkeys) plus a replica of the Oil patch Warrior. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest where rare plants can be found and unique animal, bird and insect life can be frequently seen

The Nature reserve is open at all times. Parties and school parties are particularly welcome. However the former Museum at Dukes Wood is now closed.


Contact Information

01623 882446
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust - 44 115 9588242
Dukes Wood Nature reserve (OS 120 NGR: SK677603) Map
Kelham Hall Museum [Map]
Electronic mail