Right in the heart of England you’ll find the Sherwood Forest Futurescape; a mosaic of ancient woodland, heathlands, acidic grasslands, river corridors, man-made lakes and farmland.
Famously the realm of legendary outlaw Robin Hood, much of the surviving ancient woodland was originally part of a royal hunting forest. Now, the internationally renowned Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve contains more than 1,000 ancient oaks. Most are more than 500 years old. The most famous, the major oak, is thought to be nearly twice that age!
Nightjars and woodlarks live on the heaths, lesser spotted woodpeckers, marsh tits, redstarts and woodcocks in the woodlands. Sadly the woodlands have shrunk and have become separated, whilst the heathland has decreased by 95 per cent over the last 150 years.
We are working with partners in Sherwood Forest, identifying ways of creating new habitat in the best locations – making the existing areas bigger and improving links.
Explore the area
Find out what’s going on near this Futurescape, including places to visit, news and local events, plus how you can work or volunteer for us.
Reserves and other protected areas are a key part of Futurescapes. They provide core areas for nature to thrive and eventually repopulate the surrounding landscapes. There are no RSPB reserves within the Sherwood Forest Futurescape, but nearby are:
We’re working in partnership with Tarmac to restore a sand and gravel quarry on the River Trent into the largest reedbed in the East Midlands.
An extraordinary blend of ancient woodland and the largest area of historic heathland remaining in the Midlands, Budby is home to an array of weird, wonderful and increasingly under-threat wildlife.
We're working to safeguard improve special places for nature. Each Futurescape contains a range of initiatives in addition to our reserves. The combination of these creates better conditions for wildlife across the countryside.
Woodland wildlife has declined dramatically in recent decades, at the same time as decreases in woodland management. This project is aiming to help woodland owners manage their woods for wildlife and advise them on grants which are available to help them in this process.
Futurescapes is all about collaboration. There are many organisations and people involved in managing land in Sherwood Forest. Our challenge is working together to find ways of making more space for nature. To achieve this we’re working with:
Saving special places
After the hurricane - Improving small island resilience and self-sufficiency in habitat monitoring and management in the UKOTS
Clearing up: Credit Louise Soames Blog by Lyndon John (RSPB) and Louise Soames The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season dealt devastating blows to the Caribbean region, particularly for the Caribbean UKOTs. The islands of Anguilla, British Virgin Islands.....Posted 20/06/2019 by Heather Mitchell
Victory for Harapan Rainforest
Beautiful Hutan Harapan forest is a precious remnant of the rainforest that once covered much of Sumatra (Photo: RSPB-images/Steve Roland) Hutan Harapan is one of the last remaining areas of dry lowland Sumatran forest and is among the most th...(r...Posted 12/04/2019 by Heather Mitchell
Rila Mountains: The Final Piece in Bulgaria's Protected Area Network for Birds
Daniel Pullan, our International Casework Manager writes: I was thrilled last week when my Bulgarian colleague Irina Mateeva told me that the Bulgarian Government had designated the last part of the Rila Mountains as a Special Protection Area. This a...Posted 04/04/2019 by Heather Mitchell
A net gain for nature
How can built development leave the natural environment in a better shape than it was before? This is the question at the heart of Defra’s recent consultation on ‘biodiversity net gain’. We know from the State of Nature 2016 report ...(read more)Posted 01/03/2019 by Simon Marsh