Clay Brook Forest – Hampton Falls, NH
Expanding Conservation Land and Trail Access along the Taylor River
Please help us raise $255,000 to permanently protect this historic woodland and expand a block of connected forest habitat along the Taylor River.
Located off Old Stage Road in Hampton Falls, the Clay Brook Forest (historically known as ‘Toppan’s Ox Pasture’) is a scenic ~32-acre property with a quarter-mile of frontage along the Taylor River and an active network of four-season trails already used for hiking, snowshoeing, nature observation and dog walking. Now the Town of Hampton Falls and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests—and you—have the opportunity to assure its conservation and public access.
Why is this land so important?
Water – Located just downstream of the Taylor River Headwaters Complex and the 163-acre Hurd Farm, this project will enlarge an already significant intact stretch of conserved river frontage. Conserving the property would create a corridor of conserved lands on both sides of the Taylor River over ½ mile long. Clay Brook is one of several tributary streams that flow across the property and into the Taylor River.
Wildlife—Nearly 32 acres of woodlands, wetlands and riverfront provides a variety of habitat for abundant wildlife. Otter, fisher, bobcat, fox, beaver, muskrat and mink, as well as barred owl, great blue heron, and even state-threatened red shouldered hawks have been seen on the property.
History and Rural Character—As recorded in Joseph Dow’s History of Hampton, the remnants of the ‘Upper Dam’, used on the Taylor River from 1680-1700, are located on the parcel. A stone wall marks the border with the Hurd land. Public access to lands like these are part of what makes Hampton Falls the special community it is.
Connectivity—Along with the Hurd Farm and other conservation projects, this land would be part of a 400-acre conservation corridor along the Taylor River.
Climate Change—Forests mitigate climate change, providing oxygen and cooling for the environment. We have the opportunity to protect an important forest for the health and welfare of our community.
Please join us in making this conservation vision a reality!
The Kibler Family stepped forward to purchase this property in August 2019, as the land was on the market and under imminent threat of development. Now, the Forest Society and the Town have the opportunity to raise funds to purchase from the Kiblers a permanent conservation easement that also provides for public pedestrian access. Sources of funding for the $730,000 total project cost will include $375,000 approved by the Town, $100,000 contributed by the Kiblers, and fundraising efforts for $255,000. The Forest Society is preparing applications to state grant programs, and will seek to raise up to $150,000 from other grant sources and private individuals to purchase the easement, cover costs and set aside funds for long-term stewardship. A combination of these potential grants and private funds will be needed to ensure that no development takes place on the land. At the conclusion of this effort, the Kiblers will continue to own the property subject to a permanent conservation easement held by the Forest Society.