The property, owned by Winchester Farm LLC, consists of approximately 442.69 acres of open farm land and forests. The property has frontage on US 522, Chapel Hill Farm, Bush Creek Rd and Collinsville Rd. The property is currently planned for development of approximately 73 housing lots. The gift of easement will result in 4 lots remaining.
Winchester Farm is of high conservation value. The property meets the Conservation Review Criteria as defined by Virginia Land Conservation Foundation in the following areas: Agricultural; Forestall; Natural Habitat and Biological Diversity; Watershed, and Preservation of Scenic Open Space.
Winchester Farm has been in continuous agricultural use. The property is currently used for production of wheat and hay. The farm also contains wooded areas containing a total of approximately 170 acres. Protecting the forest also complies with the Frederick County Comprehensive Plan’s goal to “encourage good forestry and best management practices within the Rural Areas.”
The farm consists of gently rolling farmland, steep slopes, creeks, and woodland areas. The diversity of the environment on the property provides a great opportunity to protect land that will allow for multiple habitats for wildlife. The Frederick County Comprehensive Plan states that “The County should seek to reduce habitat fragmentation by maintaining large contiguous areas of forests, meadows, wetlands and streams.” The rolling hillside, pastures, trees and wildlife habitat also provide pleasing examples of the scenic land in the Virginia Piedmont.
The watershed is also preserved through the conservation easement by protecting the surface water flows and drainage on the property from degradation by erosion and animal waste pollution. The property contains about one half mile of frontage on Brush Creek which is part of the “Sleepy Creek Major Watershed” which feeds into the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay.