Mary Baker-Wood of Spencer described her family’s land donation as a way of preserving a piece of much-loved woodland for future generations of children and their families to discover. Derby Farm Woods contains an old cart path, historic stone walls, valuable riverside wildlife habitat and a near-wilderness feel to the landscape. The donation will also protect the health of Turkey Hill Brook, which is a cold water fishery and one of the cleanest rivers in the state due to its mostly still-undeveloped shoreline. As a tributary to Spencer’s town wells, protecting Turkey Hill Brook directly benefits the town of Spencer’s water supply.
DECEMBER 2021: 35 acres of beautiful mixed woodlands running along the north side of Turkey Hill Brook in Spencer’s Wire Village is now permanently protected through the generosity of the Baker Family Trust, which has donated the 35-acre Derby Farm Woods property to Common Ground Land Trust (CGLT), along with a deeded trail easement that runs from Cooney Road.
Derby Farm Woods abuts the permanently protected Small’s Farm and connects to the Small Family Memorial Trail on the western side, allowing the formation of the second segment of a Wire Village Historical Trail recommended in Spencer’s Open Space Plan!
Currently, Derby Farm Woods can only be accessed from the Small’s Farm Trail (which requires fording Turkey Hill Brook), or from the new trail easement leading from Cooney Road (look for the CGLT trail markers very soon!). CGLT plans to work with abutters in hopes of continuing the trail out to the bridge over Turkey Hill Brook at Hastings and Wire Village Road.
Aerial photo of Derby Farm Woods by Rob Sousa
Looking across Turkey Hill Brook towards Small's Farm from Derby Farm Woods: