Rockingham Forest

Rockingham Forest covers more than 200 square miles in north-east Northamptonshire, including land that has been wooded since at least 1600 AD. Reputed to have been William the Conqueror’s favourite hunting forest, this opulent lowland landscape now combines ancient woodland, parkland and open grassland.

Rockingham Forest has long formed an important part of Northamptonshire’s natural and cultural heritage, supporting diverse flora and fauna, from carpets of bluebells, anemones and garlic-scented ramsons to rarities such as dormice and black hairstreak and purple emperor butterflies.

A large amount of woodland still remains but as separate woodlands adrift in arable landscapes. Woodland wildlife becomes ‘marooned’, unable to expand its range or territory. This puts pressure on isolated populations, leaving them vulnerable to disease, climate change and other threats.


Working with the Forestry Commission, the Rockingham Forest Trust, landowners and local communities, creating a Living Landscape will enhance existing habitats and restore broadleaf woodland, traditional hazel coppice and wildlife-rich glades.

The Wildlife Trust aims to expand and create new habitat through linking woodlands and growing new hedgerows and increasing field margins. Two ancient woodland reserves, Short Wood and Southwick Wood, will be linked by encouraging the natural regeneration of trees on four hectares of land that lies between them.

Working with others, we will be able to safeguard Rockingham Forest and its habitats, now and for the future.

Reserves within the Rockingham Forest Woodlands

Short and Southwick Woods
Glapthorn Cow Pastures