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.
The Harvey family elders Dan and Louise and their eight adult children have agreed to sell a conservation easement on 1,115 acres of land in the rural northwest corner of Epping and southern Nottingham, the largest single project ever undertaken by the Land Trust.
True salt-of-the-earth people, the Harvey family have owned land in Epping for eight generations – since 1755. Their decision to conserve these woods was decades in the making, took lots of family discussions, and finally came together earlier this year. The attributes of this land are too numerous to list in their entirety, but include being located within a 4,757 acre block of unfragmented forest identified as a priority by numerous conservation plans, spectacular beaver influenced ponds supporting multiple rare species, a great blue heron rookery, and migratory birds, and two
miles of brooks, and the highest point of land in Epping.
Finally, the Harvey’s Kennard Hill Forest abuts more than 800 acres conserved by the Land Trust along and near the Pawtuckaway River, building on twelve prior projects! The proposed conservation easement will also ensure that the Harvey Woods will be open for public access and will allow the Land Trust to establish a trail system to support public recreation.
Photo courtesy of Josh Lent.
Exeter resident Martha Pennell has made a remarkably generous offer to the Southeast Land Trust: she will donate her 13 acres of scenic land to the organization so long as we commit to keeping it forever undeveloped. Named in honor of Martha’s aunt, Emma Kimball, the “Kimball Reserve” will be a community treasure, providing a place to enjoy nature and take a leisurely walk in the woods. Double the impact of your gift: RiverWoods Retirement Community has offered $13,000 in matching funds to help us reach our goal of $27,000 in donations by the end of the year. Donate here.
|Sat Feb 14 @ 9:00AM|
The Heart of the Watershed: Geology and Hydrology of the Howard Swain Memorial Forest
|Sat Feb 28 @ 9:00AM|
Tour of Harvey’s Kennard Hill Forest with Duane Hyde
|Fri Apr 24|
SAVE THE DATE! Wild & Scenic Film Festival Returns to Portsmouth