We believe that sustainable land conservation, as outlined in the Wildlands & Woodlands vision for New England, is achieved not only by protecting land from development but also, and equally important, by gently managing, or stewarding, the land to preserve its natural resources, species, and habitats. At Highstead we practice land stewardship by balancing science-based best practices with our longstanding values to maintain the ecological integrity and natural landscape on our property in Redding, Connecticut. We monitor the changes in our own land and record what we learn so that Highstead can be a living model for stewardship and an educational resource for others who also strive to be responsible stewards of the land in their care. 

Areas of Focus

Forest monitoring
Wildlands & Woodlands Stewardship Science

The Wildlands & Woodlands Stewardship Science forest monitoring program was created to provide landowners in New England with an accessible approach to data collection in their woods over time. 

Highstead meadow grass path
The Highstead landscape

Sound land stewardship starts on our land in Redding, Connecticut. We encourage you to visit Highstead to experience firsthand the sustainable and beautiful impact of our intentional stewardship practices.

Invasive species management
Land stewardship practices

We share the stewardship practices we use and study to educate homeowners and land managers who are looking to develop their own approaches to managing the land in their care.

A collection of small decisions

We approach land stewardship one decision at a time, thinking about how what we do—and don’t do—on the Highstead landscape affects ecological diversity and the quality and availability of natural resources on our property, and beyond its borders. By maintaining a broad range of plant species, we’re able to show examples of the many plants that thrive in our local environment. We also leave dead trees standing to provide insects, woodpeckers, and other creatures with nesting sites. These are just a couple of examples of the many small decisions that come together to steward our land in a way that fits our values and ensures that the managed landscape is integrated with the surrounding untouched landscape. Learn more about the Highstead landscape

The seeds of stewardship

Before Highstead was formed, the Dudleys were committed to maintaining the natural integrity of their parcel of land in Redding. Once established, Highstead became a vehicle for them to care for their land in an even more focused and intentional way. Read about the history of Highstead.

Today, we continue to document the stewardship decisions that we make which allows us to observe, measure, and record the changes that arise from these decisions over time. We welcome opportunities to share this information with other landowners, land trusts, and landscape managers to help inform their own stewardship decisions.