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
The conservationist's dilemma: an update on the science, policy and practice of the impact of predators on wild birds (8)
As we have written in previous years, the decision to introduce any form of predator control (lethal or non-lethal) is something we never take lightly. It’s always based on evidence and guided by the RSPB’s Council-agreed policy. The RSPB...(read mor...Posted 20/09/2021 by martinfowlie
G7 Commentary - Nature compact success or failure?
For the first time the G7 has made a nature-positive commitment to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2030. This is unprecedented. Never before we have seen nature prioritised in a way that recognises the importance of a healthy natural wor...Posted 14/06/2021 by Vanessa Amaral-Rogers
A big step for international whale conservation - sei whale Key Biodiversity Area in Falklands
By Michelle Winnard, Communications Officer, Falklands Conservation Sei whale by Caroline Weir, Falklands Conservation In a big step for international whale conservation, the Falkland Islands have been confirmed as a hotspot for a globally end...(re...Posted 12/05/2021 by Heather Mitchell
Rejecting aluminium from Ghana's Forests
As Ghana weighs economic benefits of mining bauxite for aluminum, multi-billion-dollar global companies support community groups calling for protection of critical forest. Natalie Hall, RSPB Senior Advisor for International Site Policy explains. Atew...Posted 03/02/2021 by Vanessa Amaral-Rogers