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Short Wood and Southwick Wood

A beautiful ancient woodland which is carpeted with bluebells in the spring

Short Wood is a fragment of the Rockingham Forest, a medieval hunting forest. It is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest which includes areas of managed hazel coppice, many large oak, ash and field maple trees and small areas of dense blackthorn scrub. Occasionally, nightingales can be heard here. 

Much of the ancient woodland at Southwick Wood was replanted to replace elm trees felled in the late 1960s due to Dutch Elm disease. It now contains a mix of oak, ash, field maple, hazel and cherry. The woodland provides cover for a range of visiting bird species including willow warbler, woodcock and tawny owl. Beautiful views out over the countryside and nearby villages can be spotted through the trees. 

In both woods, spring brings a carpet of bluebells and dog’s mercury over much of the ground. Primrose, wood speedwell, greater stitchwort and wood melick are also abundant. Many butterflies inhabit these woods – look out for speckled wood, gatekeeper and comma in the sundrenched glades and rides. 

In addition to coppicing, we selectively thin trees in the woodlands to create the best conditions for wildlife. The rides and glades are mowed and scalloped to encourage wildflowers. 

Between the two woods is an area now called ‘Dodhaws Wood’ named after the ancient woodland that once existed here. This area was arable land when purchased by the Wildlife Trust in 2007. Now a grassy expanse studded with young trees brought here by the wind and birds, minimal intervention will ensure it becomes a rich wildlife haven as it slowly develops into a woodland.  

Short wood reserve map

Southwick Woods reserve map 

Southwick woods reserve map


The map below is for indication purposes only and does not show the Wildlife Trusts definitive land boundary.

Nearby nature reserves

Glapthorn Cow Pastures
1 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Old Sulehay
5 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Wansford Pasture & Standen's Pasture
6 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

Nature reserve map

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2012. For indicative purposes does not show exact boundaries.

Reserve information

Glapthorn Road
Map reference
TL 023 914
Great for...
a family day out
ancient trees
spring flowers
Best time to visit
Apr - Sep
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
56.00 hectares
Living Landscape schemes
Rockingham Forest Woodlands
Walking information
Rides are level but very wet and muddy in places when foot traffic is high
Park in lay-by on Glapthorn Road, 150 yards south of the water tower
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Tel: 01604 405285


Factsheets and guides for your visit