Map of Nature Reserves

Auzins Nature Sanctuary

Bloodroot_Jane_Bowles.jpgStraddling the boundary between the City of London and the Municipality of Middlesex Centre, this 55-acre nature reserve was donated by Karen and Eric Auzins toward the Vision 20/20 campaign. It consists of both wetlands and woodlands including a floodplain swamp along the Dingman Creek. The wetland areas are part of the provincially significant Brigham Road Wetland and are within a candidate City of London Environmentally Significant Area (ESA). This property is part of a wildlife corridor along Dingman Creek extending from the Dorchester Swamp to the Thames River at Delaware. Dingman Creek provides habitat for over 50 species of fish and mussels. The floodplain and upland forests protect water quality and provide habitat for a diversity of plants and animals. Some of the upwards of 160 plants recorded at the Auzins Nature Sanctuary are rarely found in Ontario, but thrive in this nature reserve. 

Bloodroot by Jane Bowles.

Bebensee Tract

Bebensee swampThe Bebensee Tract was gifted to the TTLT in May, 2014 by Elaine Bebensee of Calgary in memory of her husband Lloyd Bebensee, both of whom grew up near Skunk's Misery.

The Bebensee Tract is a 26-ha (64 acre) wooded property within the Skunk's Misery swamp forest complex, one of the largest remnant Carolinian forest blocks in southwestern Ontario. At over 1200-ha in size, Skunk's Misery is designated as a provincial Life Sciences Area of Natural and Scientific Interest, a Carolinian Canada Signature Site and a Bird Studies Canada Important Bird Area. The property is bordered by large forested tracts owned and managed by the County of Middlesex and the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority.

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Beryl Ivey Woods


This 50-acre property located in the Municipality of Southwest Middlesex is part of the Skunk's Misery Natural Area. Several species which are characteristic of Carolinian habitat such as Sassafras and Tulip Tree occur at this site. Many species of ash, oak, and maple are commonly found here as well. Species-at-risk found at this property include Eastern Flowering Dogwood, Butternut, and American Chestnut. Cerulean Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, and Acadian Flycatcher have been documented on adjacent properties in the Skunk's Misery Natural Area.



Black Creek Heronry

Black_Creek_Swamp.JPGThe Black Creek Heronry in East Perth County has been the breeding grounds for a large colony of Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) for at least 30 years. It is one of only two heronries in Perth County and is thus the source for these well-loved and majestic birds through much of Perth County.

In order to breed successfully Herons require a wetland in which they will be undisturbed, and this has become an increasingly rare habitat.

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Blain Farm

Blain_Farm_53.JPGLocated in the Municipality of West Elgin, just west of Wardsville, Blain Farm was purchased in 2009 from Wilbert and Eleanor Blain, who had farmed the land for over 70 years.

Blain Farm lies within the Skunk's Misery Natural Area as designated by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. It is located one kilometre south of Skunk's Misery Forest, one of the region's most important natural areas.

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Boview Farm

Boview Farm is a 35.5-hectare (88-acre) site located in Middlesex Centre. This beautiful reserve of forest, grassland, wetlands, and floodplain was formerly home to Mary and Paul Harding, and it has been generously donated to TTLT as a way of continuing the Harding’s great conservation efforts and legacy. The Boview Farm name originates from two associations with the land – the Oxbow Creek that partly runs through it and the bovines (beef cattle) that once grazed its pastures. Over sixty species of trees, thirty-two species of birds, and twenty-six species of fish have been recorded at Boview Farm so far. Of these many species, there are several cited as being at risk, including the Barn Swallow, Bobolink, and Eastern Whip-poor-will. Paul and Mary Harding’s commitment to conservation, reflected in their efforts such as consistent tree-planting, left a great mark that TTLT looks forward to building on in future restoration work.

Photo courtesy of Daria Koscinski


Deer Haven

Deer Haven is an incredible 19.4-hectare nature reserve with a diverse mix of habitats including mature forests, prairie and early successional woodland. This former farm has been actively restored by Heather and Peter Scott for more than 25 years. Deer Haven contains a tributary of the Thames River including critical habitat for species at risk fish and mussels. The variety of habitats and proximity to the Thames River make this a key site to protect for long term sustainability of biodiversity.

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Eberhardt Easement

Eberhardt_Forest_028.jpgIn February 2005 the Thames Talbot Land Trust entered into its first conservation easement agreement – the Eberhardt Easement. 

In signing this agreement, Eric and Marsha Eberhardt sought to fulfill the wishes of Hamitage Richardson who entrusted the property to their care. The Richardson family began the work of restoring the site which was, by all accounts, particularly barren at the turn of the century.


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Five Points Forest

Five Points ForestFive Points Forest was donated to the Thames Talbot Land Trust in 2009 by Al and Lilianne Driedger, who wanted to protect the natural features of the land in perpetuity.

The 29-ha (73-acre) property lies on a gently rolling moraine just south of the south branch of the Thames River between Putnam and Ingersoll, adjacent to other woodland patches.

Five Points Forest consists of mixed coniferous-deciduous upland forest and forest swamp.

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Gillies Nature Tract

Gillies_marsh_RR_edge_-_Copy.jpgGillies Nature Tract was generously donated to the Thames Talbot Land Trust in 2017 by George Gillies, who wanted to protect this beautiful habitat in perpetuity.

The Gillies Nature Tract is a 34.2 hectare (84.5 acre) forest property that is a mixture of upland forest (85%) and Provincially Significant Wetland (15%). The extensive 56 acre interior forest provides home to a number of area sensitive forest breeding birds including several Species at Risk. The wetlands are home to many amphibians and reptiles.

Hawk Cliff Woods


Hawk Cliff Woods is a stunning 230 acre property fronting on Lake Erie near Port Stanley. The woodland here is one of the most significant deep interior forests in Elgin County. In the maple-beech forest you will find Carolinian specialties, including the Tulip-tree and Shagbark Hickory as well as the Endangered Butternut and American Chestnut. Rare birds such as Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Wood Thrush thrive in the deep woods.

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Joany's Woods

Joanys WoodsJoany's Woods was purchased by the Thames Talbot Land Trust on September 28, 2007 following a nine month fundraising campaign that raised $660,000 for the purchase and stewardship of this remarkable site.

Joany's Woods is a 147-ha (364-acre) parcel of land located on parts of Lots 17, 18 and 20 and all of lot 19 in broken Front Concession, West Williams Ward, Municipality of North Middlesex, Middlesex County in Southwestern Ontario.

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Lusty Family Woods

DGW_5661_Lusty_resized_medium.jpgThe Lusty Family Tract is a 21-ha (53-acre) parcel of spectacular Carolinian swamp forest which lies at the heart of the West Lorne Woods in the Municipality of West Elgin. The West Lorne Woods is 600 acres of almost continuous deciduous forest. Its mix of swamp forest and upland woods creates habitat for a rich array of Carolinian species. Check out pictures of this beautiful property here.

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McTavish Tract

McTavish TractThe McTavish Tract is part of a larger property that was settled by Alexander McTavish in 1836. The farm remained in the McTavish family until 1965, when it was sold by Donald McTavish. A long-time conservationist, Donald had the foresight to sever the wooded tract from the original farm, retaining ownership for the McTavish family. His children Stuart, Robert, Murray, Hugh, Laura, Marian and Donna decided to protect the property in perpetuity by transferring the title to the Thames Talbot Land Trust in 2008.

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Meadowlily Nature Preserve

Walking bridge in Meadowlily Nature Preserve

On October 20, 2002, the Meadowlily Nature Preserve became the first property dedicated to the Thames Talbot Land Trust. 

Located within the City of London, on the south side of the Thames River between Highbury Avenue and Meadowlily Road, it was donated to TTLT by Carol and Rick Richardson, who wanted to ensure that their family's land would be protected from future development.

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This 105-acre parcel, generously donated by Stan and Anita Caveney toward our Vision 20/20 campaign, is located in the southwest corner of Elgin County. It lies within a large coastal wildlife corridor formed by a chain of steep wooded ravines and valleys stretching along 100km of Lake Erie shoreline in Elgin County. This nature reserve is home to a great diversity of native flora and fauna, including 200 species of migrant and resident birds. Many rare species are found here. Among these are birds, dragonflies, reptiles and amphibians. Although some of the land was previously farmed, it has been restored to native meadows and wetlands. These early successional habitats greatly enhance the species diversity of the vegetation communities present. Read more about this wonderful gift here.

Red Admiral by Stan Caveney.

Mud Lake Nature Reserve

Sandhill_Crane_-_Sandra_Leys.jpgAs part of the Vision 20/20 campaign, Mud Lake Nature reserve is a 104-acre Oxford County property that was generously donated to the Trust by Donald and Ruth Bucknell. This nature reserve protects most of the extensive Mud Lake Marsh. It is an important refuge for birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Choruses of frogs announce the arrival of spring and summer is filled with bird song. This Provincially Significant Wetland is home to species such as Sandhill Crane, Carolina Wren, Great Horned Owl and at-risk turtles. In addition, this wetland provides invaluable ecosystem services involving water filtration, flood prevention, and carbon sequestration.

Sandhill Crane by Sandra Leys.

Newport Forest

Newport MertensiaThe title to Newport Forest was transferred from Omnibus Research Inc. to Thames Talbot Land Trust in June 2007. 

The 44.5-ha (110 acre) site is located on the south side of the Thames River near Wardsville, Ontario within the Carolinian Zone. Historically, it is ecologically contiguous with the Skunk's Misery area on the north side of the Thames, barely one kilometer's distance over intervening agricultural land.

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Ridgeview Wetlands

Ridgeview Wetlands is a 13-hectare nature reserve that is part of the 178.8 ha Five Points Woods Wetland Complex, a Provincially Significant Wetland and an important wildlife refuge. The site is along the Ingersoll moraine with steep wooded ridges and deep wetland troughs. Extensive woodlands on this nature reserve are important for area sensitive birds, several of which are Species at Risk. The nature reserve is home to at least three Species at Risk birds that depend on interior forest habitat and at least 35 priority species in Bird Conservation Region 13. The seep-fed wetlands on the property are especially important for amphibians and Species at Risk turtles. TTLT has an active turtle recovery program at the Five Points Woods Wetland Complex for Midland Painted Turtle and Snapping Turtle. 

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Ross's Woods

The 23-hectare (56-acre) Ross's Woods is part of the Five Points Woods Wetland Complex and an important wildlife refuge. The mixed deciduous/coniferous forest contains unusual habitats such as stands of hemlock and many large mature trees of various species. Streams support cold-water fish species, and spring-fed provincially significant wetlands furnish essential habitat for amphibians and turtles. Rare species of dragonflies, butterflies, birds, and plants make their homes here. Ross's Woods and adjacent lands are regularly visited and inhabited by 150 bird species, at least 35 of which are priority species in Bird Conservation Region 13, and at least 2 of which are species at risk. This area has been identified as a significant area where wintering birds gain shelter from adverse weather conditions. A groundwater-fed stream remains open most of the winter, providing birds with water for drinking and bathing.

Left: Photo courtesy of Daria Koscinski.


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Sitler Woods

This 50-acre site, secured as part of the Vision 20/20 campaign, is near Newbury and has long been recognized by the Trust as a top priority for securement. Situated within the extensive Skunk’s Misery Natural Area, this parcel links two woodlands that are in county ownership. The Skunk’s Misery complex is home to many rare species that require large tracts of interior woodland to thrive. Thames Talbot Land Trust already owns other parcels within the complex, as do others including the County of Middlesex, Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, and many private landowners. Protection of this property ensures that unbroken forest cover will be maintained at this location. The property features many mature trees and older growth characteristics that distinguish it from the majority of woodlots in southwestern Ontario, where logging occurs regularly. This remarkable forest community is home to many at-risk birds.

Turtlehead by David Wake.

Tanager Tract

Red and black bird

On November 1, 2010, with generous support from nature organizations, charitable foundations and more than 160 individuals, Thames Talbot Land Trust was able to purchase the Tanager Tract, a 40-ha tract of Carolinian hardwood forest near West Lorne in West Elgin.

Tanager Tract is part of a 380-ha forest known as the West Lorne Woods, a Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW) and an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI).

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Tiedje Woods

Tjiedge forestTiedje Woods was donated to Thames Talbot land Trust in April 2009 by John and Dorothy Tiedje of Sarnia. As life-long naturalists, the Tiedjes had purchased the property 20 years previously in order to enjoy and protect its natural features. It is now a natural legacy, entrusted to TTLT.


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Wachner Nature Preserve

Wachner Nature Preserve is a 9.4-hectare (23.2-acre) parcel of land located in Thames Centre. It was generously donated to TTLT by Ann and Fritz Wachner, a couple who previously lived on the land and remained dedicated to its conservation throughout their time there. The Preserve has great value as it provides essential habitat for a multitude of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Understory shrubs such as dogwood and spicebush are able to prosper here as well as the Elm, maple, and White Pine trees that provide the shrubs with much-needed shade. Wet, shallow depressions support species such as Water Avens while ferns, mosses, and wildflowers thrive among the hummocks. Additionally, with the reserve partly located in the Dorchester Swamp, the Wachners' kind donation will allow TTLT to continue preserving this great Carolinian Canada Signature Site. 

Photo courtesy of Daria Koscinski

Wardsville Woods


Wardsville Woods is a 20 ha (50 acre) tract of upland and ravine forest located in the Skunk's Misery Natural Area. It contains mixed-deciduous woods with mature specimens of two iconic Carolinian species, Tuliptree and Sassafras, as well as American Beech, White a Red Oak and Sugar Maple trees. A creek flows through the property to the Thames River.

Wardsville Woods is open to the public for hiking and is home to our first community wildflower garden.

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