250 easements completed in 25 years by community-supported land trust.
MIDDLEBURG, VA — Land Trust of Virginia (LTV) is pleased to announce the protection of “Fleetwood East,” a property of over 380 acres located two miles southeast of Paris, Virginia. The property has been a conservation priority in Fauquier County for decades.
Founded in 1992, LTV accepted its first conservation easement 25 years ago in 1998. Since then, the organization has grown by leaps and bounds, now protecting over 32,000 acres across 33 Virginia counties. However, LTV has maintained its dedication to protecting its founding core area, with 168 easements across Fauquier and Loudoun counties.
“The work to protect open space is never done, even in northern Fauquier County where there’s a high density of easements,” said LTV Executive Director Ashton Cole. “This property, part of the historic Fleetwood farm that was once 3,000 acres straddling Route 17, is another important piece of the puzzle in the effort to ensure conservation of this invaluable historic landscape.”
Fleetwood East comprises a large portion of the highly visible slopes of Lost Mountain, which is in the heart of the northern Crooked Run Valley near Sky Meadows State Park. It has 1.32 miles of highly visible frontage on Carr Lane and is adjacent to three open space easements held by VOF, and one easement held by Fauquier County.
The entire property is within the Crooked Run Valley Rural Historic District, which is defined by more than 400 architectural resources as well as significant landscape features, vistas, and open spaces. European settlers began to establish homesteads in this area between 1730 and 1750, when Lord Fairfax originally issued land grants in this part of the Piedmont region. The predominant architectural element in the historic district is the farm dwelling and its associated agricultural and domestic outbuildings, which illustrates nearly 300 years of agricultural development and operation. In addition to the property’s inclusion in the historic district, an additional notable historic aspect of the property is that it includes approximately 80 acres that are within the Study Area for the Battle of Upperville (June 21, 1863).
Natural resources now protected include nearly 1.5 miles of Gap Run, which is a major tributary of Goose Creek. The easement protects associated floodplains, as well 0.75 miles of a robust Gap Run tributary that flows down from the upper reaches of Lost Mountain. At its lower elevations, the property contains 237 acres of “Prime Farmland Soils” or “Farmland Soils of Statewide Importance,” as well as 130 acres of forest. The forested areas are located on the upper slopes of the mountain and are connected to other large areas of unfragmented woodland habitat.
“These upper portions of the property stretch to the ridgeline and are highly visible,” Cole commented. “They are integral to the scenic landscapes in this part of Fauquier County, and it’s wonderful to know they’re now protected.”
Fleetwood East is the 250th conservation easement recorded by the Land Trust of Virginia. For more information about their work, please visit landtrustva.org.
Photos courtesy of the Land Trust of Virginia.
Posted on: November 29, 2023