The Willistown Conservation Trust added 10 more acres to its growing collection of permanently conserved lands when Kate and Ben Etherington granted a conservation easement to the Trust in mid-October. The conservation of their idyllic 10-acre Rooster Run Farm, located within the 316-acre Leopard Tract on Grubbs Mill Road, is a true gift to the community.

“I grew up on this farm, and I am truly fortunate to be able to raise my own family here,” said Kate Etherington. “This conservation easement ensures that Rooster Run will remain intact forever, and continue to be home to creatures and wildlife for future generations. And to be able to share it, by protecting the view of the landscape, and with an equestrian trail easement, is especially important to us.”

The conservation easement protects the scenic views of the farm and prevents future subdivision or construction of additional primary residences. The protection also includes an equestrian trail easement that will link to a future trail network envisioned for the area.

Kate and Ben live on the farm with their three young daughters. Rooster Run is also home to a menagerie of animals, including chickens, turkeys, ponies, goats, and a pig named Daisy. Ben and Kate are keen vegetable gardeners, tending a large cultivated plot on the farm.

The Etheringtons have worked with the Trust to create an easement that can both protect their land and be used as a model by other Leopard Tract landowners, simplifying the process for those who wish to similarly conserve their land. It is our hope that they will be inspired by the Etherington’s generosity and vision and follow suit, granting their own easements to further protect the ecological resources and rural character of the area.

As with all conservation easements, the protection granted in the easement will remain in perpetuity, even if the land is sold. As part Willistown Conservation Trust’s mission, the land will be visited annually to monitor the condition of the property and ensure that the terms of the easement are upheld.