The members of the Burley family, with their deep roots in Epping, take great pride in their long relationship with their lands and the community. In prior years, the family conserved nearly 200 acres adjacent to and near Route 125 in Epping, but still needed to decide how to proceed with the remaining farmland and woodlands.
Two hundred acres of the property lie off of North River Road and include fields that were previously leased to Stout Oak Farm (now located in Brentwood!). Historically, the farm was once an apple orchard, and before that a dairy that sold milk to H.P. Hood,linked by the old B&M Railroad that ran on what is now Route 125. This property includes the circa 1790 John Prescott Chase farmhouse, on the State Register of Historic Places, and to visitors, appears much as it would have to the original settlers, an agrarian homestead. An additional nearly 100 acres of well managed woodlands lies on Birch Hill Road north of Route 125.
As our discussions with the family evolved, SELT presented our vision for the Pawtuckaway to Great Bay Greenway and the possibility of Burley Farms being reinvigorated agriculturally, showcasing good land stewardship, supporting a public trail network, and meeting community needs. Inspired by this vision and wanting to see the property again as vibrant as it once was, the family generously agreed to sell the property for less than half its appraised value. SELT is now actively evaluating the property and planning for its future.
Below: Students from the Epping Middle School painted plywood panels with murals of farm life and the outdoors. The plywood panels were installed by volunteers, including employees from Revision Energy of Brentwood, to protect the unoccupied building from potential vandalism.