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Henniker – Wattman

watman-pageWarner Road and Brown Brook
75 acres of wooded property, marshes, and a well-used recreational trail
Public access
November 2012

The Watman Conservation Area is made up of three separate lots of land already owned by Henniker that the town Conservation Commission decided to preserve through a conservation easement. The Conservation Commission gave Five Rivers the money to purchase the easement from the Town of Henniker and assume stewardship over the land. During the yearlong process, Selectman Thomas Watman passed away. He had been closely involved with the project and the town named the area in his honor. The north-east lot was already preserved as the Preston Memorial Forest but has been incorporated into the larger conservation area.

The tract of land on the west side of the road has a path that runs back from the road to a small clearing and Brown Brook. The mossy-banked stream comes down from the north and passes through a marsh that lies to the west of the clearing. There are currently several large wood piles on the western lot that are the remnants of old buildings. The town plans to burn the piles in the winter when the conditions permit.

Throughout the entire property there are boulders, ledges, and vernal pools that give the land a special character. The southern-most lot is the only one that allows motorized access due to a provision to let ATVs continue to use an old woods road that connects to a larger ATV trail system to the east. The Watman Conservation Area lies just south of lands conserved by the Town of Warner and north of forests preserved by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Wildlife frequently pass through these forests, leaving tracks in the mud. The forest is also known for being a good location for spotting raptors.

There are provisions in the easement agreement that allow for forestry and agriculture if the town chooses but this is not likely in the near future. There is also the possibility of using the conserved area for educational purposes and creating a network of official trails. Development however, is no longer an option.