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Franchises Lodge

A ‘secret forest’ in the north of the New Forest has been saved for the nation by the RSPB with our help.

Few people have visited the 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 is working closely with commoners to help improve the new nature reserve’s value for wildlife.

Find out more about cattle returning to graze and help restore the secret forest after 100 years

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.’

A derelict cottage on the site has been renovated to provide a residential field study centre. Find out more about Cameron’s Cottage from the Cameron Bespolka Trust.

Head of Environment and Rural Economy


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

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