Centuries of history have left their mark on the South Downs. The landscape we see today is inextricably linked to the people who have lived and worked here.
The South Downs landscape also contains some of the most diverse and yet most under-threat habitats and species in south east England. It is one of the best places for us to concentrate our efforts, working in partnership with others, such as the South Downs National Park authority, to help save declining wildlife.
We will focus our work on habitats such as chalk grassland, heathland, farmland and river floodplains, and on bird species such as lapwings, corn buntings, grey partridges, stone-curlews and nightjars.
Other species which will benefit from this approach to conservation include skylarks, yellowhammers, turtle doves, water voles, barbastelle bats, brown hares, Chalk Hill Blue and Duke of Burgundy butterflies, and rare arable plants.
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. The RSPB reserve within this Futurescape is:
Set in the heart of beautiful countryside, this reserve is a fantastic day out for people of all ages. Walks lead through hedge-lined paths to viewing areas and hides where volunteers are often on hand to assist you as you spot the abundant wildlife.
We're working to safeguard and 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.
A collaborative partnership between farmers, conservation organisations and government agencies, helping to integrate conservation management into modern farming business. We aim to show that producing quality food while also providing quality habitats for wildlife is practical and achievable.
Futurescapes is all about collaboration. There are many organisations and people involved in managing land in the South Downs. Our challenge is working together to find ways of making more space for nature. To achieve this we’re working with:
Saving special places
#SaveCoulLinks - an urgent update from a vital campaign
My colleague, Kate Bellew, Senior Conservation Planner at RSPB Scotland has just posted this blog following an important meeting held by Highland Council to decide on the fate of Coul Links. Given the significance of the case - I'm reproducing...(rea...Posted 12/06/2018 by Andre Farrar
Planning Policy Wales: Securing a brighter future for nature in Wales
Following my blog 11 days ago on the draft National Planning Policy Framework for England, I'm delighted to introduce this guest blog on Planning Policy Wales by my colleague Christopher O'Brien. Guest blog by RSPB Cymru Senior Policy Officer...(read...Posted 21/05/2018 by Simon Marsh
Three decades fighting for peatlands
Wherever peat soils form - there is a conservation story - often of loss and damage, occasionally of restoration and hope. They form a fragile home for distinctive and often threatened wildlife and the properties of the peat provide life-giving benef...Posted 15/05/2018 by Andre Farrar
Building a Britain Fit for the Future (3)
Today we submit our final response to the Government’s consultation on a revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for England. You can see our previous commentary on it here and here . The changes to the NPPF are wide-ranging, and most...(re...Posted 10/05/2018 by Simon Marsh