top of page
Grazing near Fineshade Abbey.jpg

The landscape of
Rockingham Forest

Near Fineshade Abbey

The landscape of Rockingham Forest 

A patchwork of habitats

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.

Today's fragmented landscape

Only one sixth of the Rockingham Forest area is woodland - what's the rest?

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.  

Its extent

The part of the former royal forest that is the subject of Rockingham Forest Vision

Its history

A short history of the former royal hunting forest with suggestions for further reading

Its hidden gems

Public spaces, nature reserves, buildings and interesting locations

Rockingham Forest is one of Natural England's National Character Areas. This link takes you to a wealth of resources and data about the landscape - descriptions of the landscapes, key facts, data and very many interactive maps of the area.

If you are interested in  the historic landscapes of Rockingham Forest there is some excellent reading that can be downloaded here:​

Historic Landscape of Rockingham Forest" 
(2003 D Hall, G Foard, T Britnell,Rockingham Forest Trust & Northamptonshire County Council) 

Click to read about the today's forest landscapes 

Logo-leaf-only-rotate -right.JPG
Map of LandCover in Rockingham Forest
Table of land usage.png

Table showing land use across RFV, based on the “Land Cover Map, 2019”

bottom of page