Bull pg 7 1-31-19


Bull Hill Preserve. Aerial photo by Leslie Sweetnam

In just two years, the Wyndham Land Trust has expanded the Bull Hill Preserve in Thompson and Woodstock to 885 acres, a testament to the land trust’s commitment to protecting this expansive unbroken forest. 
Three properties were added to the land trust’s holdings at the end of 2018 —55 acres formerly owned by the Young family, 56 acres owned by Mark Cunningham, and 2.5 acres owned by Marcus Johnson. 
The Young property is just north of the parking area for the preserve, which can be accessed from Bull Hill Road, via Senexet Road in Woodstock. The new lot contains a red oak and white pine forest with a thick understory of mountain laurel. The property also holds a large blueberry swamp that supports uncommon nesting bird species, notably Magnolia Warbler and Northern Waterthrush. 
The Cunningham properties consist of three separate parcels. One parcel connects to a land trust preserve in the northern part of the forest, and two parcels expand the main core of the preserve to the south.  These properties are mainly oak forest, and one parcel contains a scenic waterfall.  Whip-poor wills, a rare bird in Connecticut, are known to nest in this forest. 
The Johnson parcel is located in the southern part of the forest and is adjacent to existing land holdings.  It consists of mostly oak and white pine. 
“The land trust has focused on the Bull Hill project since the end of 2016,” said trust President Mike St Lawrence. “A lot of volunteer time and energy have gone in to it, but it’s gratifying to know how much impact we are having. We’re excited to protect so much land in such a short period of time. We’re getting a lot of support from the community, which inspires us to keep pushing forward.”
The Wyndham Land Trust now protects more than 100 parcels in 10 towns in northeastern Connecticut totaling more than 4,000 acres.


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