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 much of this land will be donated to NCC’s Hastings Wildlife Junction project.

Learn more about this project in the news.

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 country’s unifying force for nature. We seek solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation.

As a trusted partner we work with people, communities, businesses and government to protect and care for our most important natural areas. Since 1962, we have brought Canadians together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares.

NCC is a registered charity. With nature we build a thriving world.

To learn more visit:

How will the land be managed?

These lands will be managed and cared for by NCC and will be accessible for public pedestrian access, as well as negotiated hunting agreements across some areas of the site administered by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.

NCC has also begun engaging with Indigenous communities in this area to learn about various communities’ priorities and identifying areas for potential collaboration. NCC is open to a variety of ideas, including accommodating access on the land for traditional uses such as hunting and other harvesting, collaboration on property management and stewardship, and supporting Indigenous-led conservation where invited to do so. The NCC lead on these initiatives is Kristyn Ferguson, Program Director, Large Landscapes, Ontario, and she can be reached at