One-hundred-and-ninety-five acres of farmland, forest, meadows and wetland in  Douro are now protected thanks to conservation easement agreement between  landowner Bruce Kidd and Kawartha Land Trust.

Kidd and his family have lived and worked on their  Douro farm for decades. Kidd entered into the agreement with the group as a  means of ensuring his farmland would remain in production in the future and the  property’s natural features would remain unchanged, according to a news release  from Kawartha Land Trust. 

KLT says the agreement will be able to ensure the protection of both.

The Kidd Farm features hills and vistas and includes 130 acres of  agricultural land, along with wetland, forested areas and meadows teeming with  wildlife, from porcupines and muskrats to yellow-bellied sapsuckers and Eastern  wood pewees. 

“Protecting agricultural land and ensuring it remains in production is not  only important for the food produced, but also for increasing our region’s  resilience to climate change through carbon sequestration,” states a press  release from Kawartha Land Trust.

Kidd decided to enter into the agreement with the group because he feels  farmland needs to be conserved. 

“The first is to protect the opportunity to farm. Too much farmland has been  lost … farmland needs to be protected from over-development.”

Between 2006 and 2016, according to the 2016 Census, the number of farms in  Peterborough County dropped by 21 per cent and rented farms declined by 17 per  cent. 

Kidd also wanted to ensure the land’s natural features were preserved.

“Working with Bruce on protecting his land has taught me about how on-farm  stewardship works,” said Thom Unrau, the group’s director of community  conservation. 

“Bruce’s thoughtful approach to balancing the natural and productive elements  of the farm has been an inspiration. This project has solidified for me the  important role KLT should play in protecting farms in the Kawarthas.”

Formed in 2001, Kawartha Land Trust is a registered environmental charity  aiming to protect and preserve natural land for future generations within the  Kawarthas by establishing nature reserves that conserve wildlife and sensitive  ecosystems. The organization creates reserves by accepting ecologically  important donated properties and engages with landowners, community partners,  supporters and local First Nations communities to carry out environmental  stewardship through its Partners in Conservation program. 

The trust now protects 31 properties covering 5,250 acres of ecologically  diverse lands, including hiking trails that allow thousands of people to enjoy  nature in Kawarthas each year.

By Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Dec 15, 2022

This item reprinted with permission from   The Auroran   Aurora, Ontario

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