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Butterfly Conservation Field-trip in Fineshade

Community groups in Rockingham Forest

Butterfly Conservation fieldtrip

Here you can find a brief description of some of the local organisations whose work is related to the heritage of the area or who are active in the conservation of wildlife, habitat and landscapes. Most of these groups are run by and for volunteers and they will be sure to welcome your help and involvement. 

You can click the buttons to go to the group's own website or to another page of this site where you will find contact details etc.

This is not  a complete list and we will be delighted to hear from other groups who would like to describe their activities here. Please send us an email.

Stamford Community Orchard
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Stamford Community Orchard

This is a non-profit making group based in Stamford with the aim of promoting apples and orchards in the wider area, including Rockingham Forest.   

The group runs lots of events in their orchard in Stamford and also a highly popular Apple Day in October when you can bring home grown apples for identification.
There is a group meeting at 7.30pm every third Wednesday of the month at The Crown Hotel, Stamford.
Everyone is very welcome.

Supporting the Coronation Community Orchard Project

Map of KIngs Cliffe Wildplaces
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Wildplaces, part of Transition Kings Cliffe 

This  volunteer group in the heart of Rockingham
Forest is committed to managing habitats to support
the wonderful biodiversity of the area, and opening up public access to the village's wildlife sites - roughly 50 acres of accessible land which are managed or maintained primarily for wildlife.  See for example the Railway Path  These are the Wildplaces!   
Transition Kings Cliffe works locally to combat the global challenges of climate change and fossil fuel depletion. As well as  Wildplaces there are other subgroups, dealing
with food, energy and sustainability.

Approaching Top Lodge, Fineshade

Friends of Fineshade

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An informal group with over 300 members our aim is to enjoy and protect Fineshade Wood, the largest remaining fragment of Rockingham Forest. On the website, you can find many interesting articles about Fineshade's rich biodiversity and its history. There are also sections which record former threats to the wood, which the Friends have helped to thwart.
Friends of Fineshade are also active on twitter and have nearly 1000 followers - @FoFineshade

Adder Dave James
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Northamptonshire Amphibian and
Reptile Group

Northants ARG is an independent, volunteer-led
amphibian and reptile group affiliated to our national body Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the UK (ARG UK). Our members come from a range of backgrounds including enthusiastic amateur naturalists, professional ecologists, professional conservationists, statutory agencies, toad patrollers, and the folk who enjoy looking at frogs in their garden pond.  We conduct amphibian and reptile surveys all over the county but particularly in the Rockingham Forest area which is one of the best areas for reptiles.  Please
visit our website and then come and join us!

Corby Woodlands volunteers

Friends of Corby Woodlands

There are 6 Friends groups attached to the Corby
Woodland Project and their work includes coppicing, planting, litter picking, helping with events and more. Volunteering is an extremely rewarding experience with many social benefits and dedicated volunteers are able to benefit from  free training opportunities. There are Friends groups for:

  • Thoroughsale and Hazel Wood

  • Coronation Park

  • East Carlton Countryside Park

  • King's Wood 

  • West Glebe Park

  • Weldon Woodland Park

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Family coppicing

Easton Hornstocks Coppicing Group


The Small-leaved Limes in the National Nature Reserve called Easton Hornstocks have been coppiced for hundreds of years, with the bark of the young trees formerly used to make rope. Today the reserve is managed by Natural England and coppicing takes place during the winter months to ensure that a range of rich habitats is available for wildlife. One of the "coupes" is managed by a team of volunteers who, in return for their labours, are able to take the felled timber home for wood fuel. If you are interested in knowing more, please send an email. 

Old Sulehay Reserve

Wildlife Trust Local Groups


Wildlife Trust Local Groups provide an opportunity for
Trust members to join together to discover, enjoy and
protect wildlife through guided walks, illustrated talks and meetings. Many also provide practical help on nature reserves and raise significant funds for conservation work. Some spread the word about wildlife and the Trust in local parish magazines and newspapers, or at fetes and fundraising events. All of them encourage new people to support us.  We have three local groups close to Rockingham Forest: Oundle, Peterborough and Desborough. Please
follow the link for more details.

Chequered Skipper. Photo: Andy Wyldes

Butterfly Conservation, Beds and Northants branch

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The members of the local branch of Butterfly Conservation are very active in the Rockingham Forest region, with a programme of regular field trips looking for butterflies that are on the wing and also searching for their eggs.   They produce seasonal newsletters and have an informative website with a a list of regular sightings.

Branch members have been particularly active as volunteers for the project to re-introduce the Chequered Skipper to Rockingham Forest. 

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Ketton Green Spaces Group

This small group of local volunteers do things to protect, manage and develop

local green spaces, especially the public open spaces in Ketton. These include:

  • Hall Close recreation ground and Sinc Stream

  • Ketton churchyard and cemetery

  • Rivers Welland and Chater

  • Whitebread Copse

  • Around Ketton Sports and Community Centre sports fields, including the Football Copse

  • Footpaths, bridleways and roadside verges

  • Around Ketton Quarry SSSI

Historic Collyweston
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Collyweston Historical and
Preservation Society

With Neolithic settlements, Roman temples, royal
palaces and secret tunnels, Collyweston has a rich history, not least because of its position on the edge of the royal hunting forest of Rockingham.  For over 25 years, the Historical and Preservation Society has provided its members with a rich and varied selection of exciting research presented by a wide variety of guest speakers as well as by the society's own researchers, ensuring that the village's past is not forgotten.  A subscription of just £8pa entitles members to entry to a wide range of
interesting talks and events.

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