In another of our reviews about local dog walking locations, this article looks at Lings Wood Nature Reserve. Lings Wood is owned by Northampton Borough Council and managed by The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.
Lings Wood Nature Reserve – Location & Parking
Lings Wood is located in the East of Northampton. There is a small car park off Lings Way. Readers should note that there is a 2 metre high height restriction to pass under to gain access to the car park. The reserve is surrounded by houses which provide alternative entrances on foot for those living close by. The car park is free but small, my guess is it would hold perhaps 6 cars maximum.
Lings Wood Nature Reserve – What to expect
Once in Lings Wood you get a sense of being enclosed by trees. The dense tree cover reminded me a little of Harlestone Firs. On the September day I visited the temperature was moderate but I’d imagine this would be a good location to walk dogs when the heat gets close to 30 degrees as it has many times during 2018. The temperature difference under a tree canopy can be remarkable. The outer of Lings Wood has a tarmac path. Off this tarmac path there are dirt paths through the woods in all directions. I’ve not visited in winter but I suspect Lings Wood would be less muddy than some other locations I could mention, Salcey Forest for example.
At one side of Lings Wood Nature Reserve it opens out to a large open field. I believe the field belongs to St Peters Independent School and I have no idea if you can walk your dog there too (on the day I visited it was being used for a football game). On other sides the reserve is close to various housing estates. At a couple of these entrances I noticed dog waste bins which are always welcome. However I did not notice general rubbish bins and they are certainly needed. I don’t know if people from the housing estates use Lings Wood as a shortcut to places but I was alarmed by how much rubbish I saw, especially take away boxes and drink containers.
In many ways I wanted to like Lings Wood Nature Reserve. It’s just about big enough to provide a decent hour long walk and dogs who like woodland location will like it. Archie seemed to enjoy it, especially chasing the squirrels. However it does not rate as one of my favourite dog walking locations. I’m not sure if I would go as far as to say it’s unsafe but I definitely got a sense that it was a place lacking some love and in need of a good tidy up.