Map of Harvey's Kennard Hill Forest (378.76 kB)
Harvey's Kennard Hill Forest Presentation Slideshow (4.74 MB)
Summary of Harvey's Kennard Hill Forest (446.58 kB)
Memo to Epping Budget Committee_2015-01-07 (2.15 MB)
Update: On March 13th voters unanimously supported the 38-acre Short property conservation easement purchase by appropraiting an addition $175,000 toward the purchase. These beloved trails will remain publicly accessible, and the Southeast Land Trust will hold the easement on this property.
Where is the Short Property?
The Short Property is a 38-acre tract of land located off Scamman Road and adjacent to the back of the Barker Farm and near the Gordon Barker Town Forest. The property has many trails that connect with those on town land, including Stratham Hill Park. When hiking or biking along the wonderful trail system in the Town Forest and Park, you may not even have realized that you have crossed onto the Short property, where the Shorts have graciously built trails and allowed public access.
In February of 2014, David Sweetser visited our office at the suggestion of local realtor Rob Gilman to explore options for his family’s 200 acre farm on Ledge Farm Road in Nottingham. We quickly realized its strategic importance, as it abuts the Harvey’s Kennard Hill Forest. Working to meet the family’s goals and building on the vision of linking Pawtuckaway to Great Bay, the Land Trust has agreed to acquire a conservation easement on the majority of the farm and woodlands. Once conserved, it is the hope of the family and Land Trust that a new family will purchase the protected farm and continues its long agricultural heritage.
The members of the Burley family, with their deep roots in Epping, take great pride in their long relationship with their lands and the community. In prior years, the family conserved nearly 200 acres adjacent to and near Route 125 in Epping, but still needed to decide how to proceed with the remaining farmland and woodlands.
Two hundred acres of the property lie off of North River Road and include fields that were previously leased to Stout Oak Farm (now located in Brentwood!). Historically, the farm was once an apple orchard, and before that a dairy that sold milk to H.P. Hood,linked by the old B&M Railroad that ran on what is now Route 125. This property includes the circa 1790 John Prescott Chase farmhouse, on the State Register of Historic Places, and to visitors, appears much as it would have to the original settlers, an agrarian homestead. An additional nearly 100 acres of well managed woodlands lies on Birch Hill Road north of Route 125.
As our discussions with the family evolved, the Land Trust presented our vision for the Pawtuckaway to Great Bay Greenway and the possibility of the Burley Farm being reinvigorated agriculturally, showcasing good land stewardship, supporting a public trail network, and meeting community needs. Inspired by this vision and wanting to see the property again as vibrant as it once was, the family generously agreed to sell the property for less than half its appraised value. The Land Trust is now actively evaluating the property and planning for its future.
Beloved by area residents for fresh corn, tomatoes, and veggies, the Limperis Farm is an active farm nestled on the banks of the Lamprey River and Jacobs Wells Road. The Limperis family will retain ownership of 77 acres subject to a conservation easement, allowing them to continue farming. The remaining 186 acres will be acquired by the Land Trust as a new reservation. With more than 1,800 feet of shoreline on both sides of the Wild and Scenic Lamprey River, these woods abut the Land Trust’s Lamprey River Wildlife Preserve and will help link the Land Trust’s Piscassic Greenway in Newfields all the way to Route 125.
Photo courtesy of LCHIP and Clearly Creative.