DUBLIN — David and Louisa Birch wanted to make sure the woodland animals around Mount Monadnock will always have a home, so they’ve donated 364 acres of land to the Monadnock Conservancy.
The land, along Old Marlborough Road in Dublin, is now a wildlife habitat that will be protected from development.
“The critters will have the land,” David Birch said. “It’s wonderful to have habitat like this where the animals feel comfortable.”
The Conservancy, based in Keene, has now worked with landowners to protect more than 20,000 acres of forest, farmland, shoreline, wetlands, wildlife habitat and recreation trails in the region.
The Birches, who live in Peterborough, have had the land for decades. Louisa Birch’s father bought the first parcel of about 100 acres in the late 1960s.
The couple has since been adding parcels to the property, building out a wildlife area that is home to American kestrels, deer, bears, moose, and porcupines.
The Birches say they have seen four generations of porcupines grow up on their land.
The property is mostly forested with an 8-acre meadow that is mowed once a year so that ground-nesting birds like bobolinks have a chance to fledge their young. There also are two streams and about 25 acres of wetland on the property.
A half-mile section of Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail crosses the woods, and the Birches plan to continue to allow public access to the trail as long as people respect the plants, animals and scenic beauty of the place.
The Conservancy believes the property will draw people to the region as it offers views of Mount Monadnock and that should benefit nearby towns.