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Franchises Lodge nature reserve

In the north of the New Forest a secret forest has been saved for the nation by the RSPB with our help.

Few people have visited this ‘secret forest’, a 1,000-acre woodland at Franchises Lodge near Nomansland, which is the size of over 1,300 football pitches.

The RSPB is only beginning to discover the rare plants and animals that live there and the charity plans to work closely with commoners to help improve the new nature reserve’s value for wildlife.

The spectacular woodland also provides a bridge between two already internationally-important wildlife areas – Langley Wood National Nature Reserve to the north and the New Forest Special Protection Area to the south. It’s an extremely rare chance to turn a huge piece of the north of the National Park into a special place for nature, making the Forest bigger, better for nature and more joined-up.

When the forest was acquired in April 2018, our chairman Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre said:

‘This is very good news for the Forest. The acquisition of this site by the RSPB is significant as it gives us the opportunity to undertake landscape-scale improvements to these habitats in a prime location adjacent to the Open Forest.

‘We are pleased that the RSPB is keen to work with commoners and other local people to ensure that the site is managed appropriately. This will bring the same benefits to a wide range of species as it does on the Open Forest and will ensure this important site flourishes for years to come.

For more information read our wildlife manager’s blog on the acquisition of Franchises Lodge.

Cameron’s Cottage is currently being renovated on the site to provide a residential field study centre in one of the derelict cottages. Find out more from the Cameron Bespolka Trust.

Keep an eye on our newsroom and social media for more updates.

Land Advice Service Manager


'We help commoners to continue their ancient way by providing grants, training and advice.'

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