The landscape of
Near Fineshade Abbey
The landscape of Rockingham Forest
In the 21st century we tend to think of forests as wall-to-wall trees, but it is clear that, even in its heyday, Rockingham Forest was not like that. Like other royal hunting forests, it was actually a patchwork of habitats, which included grazing land as well as small arable areas. These were particularly clustered around the settlements, which in turn tended to be close to the brooks and rivers.
Today there is a very different patchwork of habitats. Some of the original rich Ancient Woodlands remain and there is wood pasture, grassland and parkland. But there is now much more arable land which, with the built-up areas, separates the surviving nature-rich fragments and reduces their biodiversity. One of Rockingham Forest Vision's aims is to reconnect the core remaining wooded areas for the benefit of people and wildlife.
In this section of the website are pages describing the landscapes that you can see today and other pages about the forest's history. There are also pages defining and describing Ancient Woodland, together with some suggested places to visit - the hidden gems of the forest.
A short history of the former royal hunting forest with suggestions for further reading
Today's fragmented landscape
Only one sixth of the Rockingham Forest area is woodland - what's the rest?
If you are interested in the historic landscapes of Rockingham Forest there is some excellent reading that can be downloaded here:
A patchwork of habitats
Please use the red buttons below to explore some of the different types of landscape that can be found in the former forest area today.