Wachner Nature Preserve Protected Forever

Thames Talbot Land Trust protects 21st nature reserve

May 14, 2022, London, Ontario - Thames Talbot Land Trust celebrated the protection of the Wachner Nature Preserve near Dorchester, Ontario. This 9.4 hectare (23 acre) nature reserve protects a portion of the Dorchester Swamp and a regenerating meadow. The property was generously donated by Ann and Fritz Wachner. The Wachners lived on the property for many decades, raising their family along with ducks, rabbits and vegetables, and protecting the swamp at the rear of the property. In the last decade, Ann retired their small pasture and planted a variety of Carolinian trees to augment the biodiversity of the site. The Wachners wanted to ensure that their beloved property – and all the trees and wildlife – would be protected forever so they chose to work with Thames Talbot Land Trust to make that dream a reality. 

Dorchester Swamp is an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest, a Carolinian Canada Signature Site, and one of the largest wetlands in the Upper Thames River watershed. It also contains a groundwater-dependant swamp located in a Wellhead Protection Area on top of a Highly Vulnerable Aquifer. Dorchester Swamp is home to a wide diversity of plants and animals, with at least six species listed under Canada’s Species at Risk Act including Wood Thrush (threatened), Barn Swallow (threatened) and Monarch butterfly (special concern). Permnanet protection by Thames Talbot Land Trust will ensure these natural features and wildlife are protected forever.

“The twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss are two sides of the same coin, and we must tackle them together” said the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “By working with partners such as the Thames Talbot Land Trust we are helping to protect the natural environment in Ontario and across the country. Through the Canada Nature Fund’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program the Government of Canada is making progress toward its goal of conserving a quarter of lands and oceans in Canada by 2025.”

This project was made possible by the Government of Canada through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund.

The property was donated to the Thames Talbot Land Trust under the Government of Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program. This program provides enhanced tax incentives for individuals or corporations who donate ecologically significant land.


  • Wachner Nature Preserve is part of the 548 ha Dorchester Swamp, one of the largest wetlands in the Upper Thames River watershed
  • Over 600 plant species and at least 72 breeding bird species have been recorded in Dorchester Swamp
  • The Carolinian Zone is one of the least protected EcoZones in Canada
  • Canada has committed to protecting 25% of terrestrial lands and waters by 2025


Thames Talbot Land Trust is a registered Canadian charity with a mission to protect, conserve, and restore nature within Elgin, Middlesex, Oxford and Perth counties, contributing to a stable climate, human wellbeing, and healthy habitats for all species. Our vision is to create a network of permanently protected areas that are rich in biodiversity, sustain life and nourish a sense of wonder and inspiration for all people.

The Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP) is a unique public-private partnership to support new protected and conserved areas by securing private lands and private interests in lands. The program is managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Federal funds invested in the program are matched with contributions raised by NCC and its partners, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the country’s land trust community. 

 To learn more about the Ecological Gifts Program, please visit http://www.ec.gc.ca/pde-egp/.


Visit: www.thamestalbotlandtrust.ca  

Become a fan on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thamestalbotlandtrust 


Daria Koscinski
[email protected]