Newly conserved property a wildlife sanctuary

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WALPOLE, N.H. — The Monadnock Conservancy recently was given a 95.4-acre parcel of land that abuts Hooper Forest in the north central part of Walpole.

The property offers incredible plant and tree diversity, and also provides key habitat for wildlife. Forested slopes, woodland views and stone walls; these are a few of the treasures of this special place. Large, mature trees dominate the landscape. The only structure on the entire plot is an old stone-lined spring. Part of the beauty of this property is how undeveloped it remains.

Thanks to growing support from the community and a generous donor, the property will stay that way.

Jane Skofield of Walpole deeded the nearly 100 acres of land to the Conservancy.

"I inherited the land from my uncle," she said.

"I didn't really need it, so I thought the Conservancy could use it."

Skofield said that she thought it was a good spot for wildlife.

Oak trees provide ample mast for critters who like acorns. Hop hornbeam nutlets are prized by ruffed grouse and are eaten by pheasants, finches, grosbeaks, rabbits, turkeys and squirrels.

The property's rich soil is the product of bedrock uncommonly high in calcium and undulating terrain. That, among other things, allows for a really diverse community of plants to grow — more so than your average New Hampshire forest.

"It's unique to see all of that diversity packed into one spot," said Rick Brackett of the Conservancy.

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