Purchased in 2021, Land’escapes now owns and operates ~67,000 acres in the County of Hastings – referred to as the ‘Hastings Freehold‘. The land was previously used for industrial timber and is now being restored for conservation and low-impact recreation. 

While this property is filled with amazing and beautiful landscapes, it’s important to recognize the scars as well. This land was previously used for industrial timber operations and in some areas it shows. 

It reminds us how important our work here is to restore and protect this land, and prevent future damaging impacts. 

What are we doing?

With over 67,000 acres of sprawling landscape crisscrossed with trails and roads, puncture by slash piles – the conservation approach will take time and effort. We have begun working on a number of things that will help inform a conservation management plan for the property. 

Baseline Inventories to understand the ecology of the property

Working with partner organizations and individuals to identifies invasive species and species at Risk. 

Road remediation by actively closing down and unnecessary trails and reducing public access by motorized vehicles.

Clean-up and remediation of human disturbance and discarded equipment throughout the property. 

Actively managing forests, transplanting trees into disturbed areas and protecting sensitive areas. 

Together for Nature: Land’escapes and the Nature Conservancy of Canada

Hastings Wildlife Junction

In a recent news release by NCC, it was announced that Ben, the founder of Land’escapes will be making a significant donation of land to NCC. This will be one of the largest land donations in NCC’s history. As part of his overall vision for this venture, Land’escapes will be transferring approximately 12,000 acres of land to the organization to be permanently protected and conserved. We’re pleased to share that the majority of this land, about 88%, will be donated to NCC’s Hastings Wildlife Junction project.

The Hastings Wildlife Junction will help reduce the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss in Canada and have an unparalleled impact at a national and global scale and contribute to Canada’s commitments to conserve 30 per cent of our lands and waters by 2030.

About the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect 14 million hectares (35 million acres), coast to coast to coast.

How will the land be managed?
These lands will be managed and cared for by NCC and will be accessible for public pedestrian access. For over a decade, NCC has had a successful partnership with the Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters (OFAH) to administer hunting on many of NCC properties across the province. NCC plans to allow access for hunting on these properties through their partnership with OFAH.