Sunday, 12 August 2018

Male green woodpecker feeding on ground

The Secret Forest

In November last year a significant piece of woodland, Franchises Lodge in the New Forest, was given to the RSPB to look after for nature. In addition to rare woodland birds such as firecrests, hawfinches and lesser spotted woodpeckers initial surveys have also revealed it is home to wood warbler, spotted flycatcher and redstart. There are beautiful glades full of bluebells which are alive with butterflies and, in the autumn, full of fungi. The 953 acres will be managed to maintain existing broadleaf woodland, enhancing areas of wood pasture and recreating open heathland.

The acquisition of this land has been given to the nation in a tax settlement by the previous owner, a generous legacy and support from the New Forest National Park and the Friends of the New Forest. The RSPB are currently seeking donations to purchase the remaining 430 acres of this woodland which in the future will be open to the public. This area will become the RSPB's first New Forest nature reserve.