DUKES WOOD OIL MUSEUM
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 bronze 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 are we?
Dukes Wood 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, but if full please return to park on the main road, and not in the lane. Please keep to the marked trails and paths and keep dogs on leads.
The Museum is situated on the Nature Trail and 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 Museum also contains information on the wildlife and rare plant life found within this unique piece of English Social and Natural History.
The aim of the Museum is to maintain a wildlife education facility and to foster industrial relationships.
The reserve is open at all times. Parties and school parties are particularly welcome. Bookings should be made through this website or through the telephone numbers listed below.
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