One of our favourite walks around Woodhall Spa is at Ostlers Plantation. It’s a small wooded area owned by the Forestry Commission, with a small car park with a few pot holes! There are no toilets and no doggy bins either so you need to take your poo bags home with you!
Ostlers is being logged at the moment, though they don’t appear to be working at weekends. If you are going during the week just be aware that there are people cutting down trees but you can have a lovely walk without going near them thanks to the numerous paths.
The car park is not sign posted so it is very easy to drive past without noticing! If you are heading there from Woodhall Spa down Kirkby Lane, you will go past a bungalow with a caravan club CL sign on the left, the car park is just past their house on the right hand side, it looks like a small lane. There is a sign in the car park showing that you have made it to Ostlers!
Once you are there, then you can enjoy yourselves! Be aware there are deer around and the woods is on a road that isn’t overly busy but people do go very fast down it so if you have a dog that doesn’t always listen off lead then it might be worth taking a long line for your dog. There are some wide fire track paths that you can go down without the chance of the dog being tangled around trees whilst on a line 🙂
There are numerous paths off the car park that you can pick to walk down. The day I went and took the photos of my dogs we went straight down the main fire track. The heather is starting to come into flower but isn’t quite there yet! When the heather is in flower they have some beautiful purple flowers and it is really rather beautiful! Also makes some amazing photo opportunities!
There are a few wide paths that head off in different directions which allow you to wander around for quite a while! Ostlers was used during the war and as you walk around you can see the remnants of various buildings, all of which you can get to and walk around, some you can also walk through. Just be aware there are some buildings that I personally wouldn’t deem as safe for dogs to go into but most of the derelict buildings have over grown plants and brambles and usually fine to explore.
The wood backs onto a nature reserve owned by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. I don’t know whether dogs are allowed on it or not but there are at times livestock surrounding it so I usually keep to the woods.
For those of you that like to walk around and spot nature, then this place when it is quiet is lovely. There are loads of birds flying around, squirrels a plenty and the odd rabbit and deer can also be spotted. If you go at times when the wood is busier or in the middle of the day then the wildlife appears to not be as brave, so if you have a dog that might chase squirrels and deer then going at busy time/middle of the day is possibly better for you.
We have taken our dogs there since we moved in the area and it is one of our favourite walks around Woodhall Spa. Its got a lovely amount of space to do training, we love doing gundog training with Dill there.
If you live in the area and haven’t found this gem of a place then get down there! If you are in the area then it is well worth the trip. Woodhall Spa is also full of lots of dog friendly cafes and an amazing pet shop that sells the best dog treats!