Ashley Wood is an ancient hazel and ash coppice woodland with oak and ash standards. It has, for some years, gone without an active coppicing regime but that is now being put to rights by the Dorset Wildlife Trust and the results of their work is now beginning to show. A pleasant walk at any time of year but spring is the best time for Ashley Wood when the flowers are at their best, especially bluebells, as well as early purple orchid, wood anemone, wood sorrel and lots more. Good for butterflies and other insects too a little later in the year.
The wood is alongside Ashley Wood Golf Club and a couple of the holes are actually in the wood itself. As you take in the wonderful array of flowers just keep an eye open for the odd golf ball lying hidden amongst them - I found three, all in good condition! Think also of those poor people who have spent a lot of money to ruin their walk in the country whilst you can enjoy it for free and without the frustrations of trying to hit a ball with a stick!
There is no parking for the reserve so getting there can be a little bit of a problem. You can get to it across farmland and I have included some species from here in my records for the Ashley Wood reserve although they are not actually on the rsesrve itself.