deer haven

Credit Payton Landsborough

Map provides approximate location.

Deer Haven

West Elgin, ON

Thames Talbot Land Trust – 2023

19 hectares

Property Description

Deer Haven is an incredible 19.4-hectare nature reserve with a diverse mix of habitats including mature forests, prairie and early successional woodland. The property has several forest types. The lovely oak woodland contains towering red oak, white oak, hickories, ironwood, black cherry and basswood. Pockets of red maple swamp are found along the stream and part of the ravine is covered in young sugar maples. 

This former farm has been actively restored by Heather and Peter Scott for more than 25 years. Restoration work included installing a tallgrass prairie, wetlands to support amphibians and a large native tree planting program. The 1-hectare tallgrass prairie is a rare and diverse habitat that supports insects and insect-dependent birds. Summers bloom with a variety of wildflowers such as Virginia Mountain Mint, Grey-headed Coneflowers, Stiff Goldenrod, and native grasses such as Big Bluestem and Little Bluestem provide seeds for birds during fall migration. Large parts of the former farmland have also been planted with a diverse mix of native tree and shrub species such as Tulip Tree, Bitternut Hickory, Eastern Flowering Dogwood, and many more to recreate a Carolinian Forest.

Deer Haven contains a tributary of the Thames River, which it joins in less than 500m after leaving the property. This section of the Thames River and its tributaries are critical habitat for species at risk fish and mussels.

The variety of habitats and proximity to the Thames River make this a key site to protect for long-term sustainability of biodiversity. The site is connected to the Skunk’s Misery Natural Area, a biodiversity hotspot in southern Ontario, and contributes to the protection of the last remaining Carolinian Forest habitats. 

The project was supported by MapleCross Fund, Environment and Climate Change Canada through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund, Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks through the Greenlands Conservation Partner Program, administered by the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, the Echo Foundation, and private donors. A special thank you to Heather and Peter Scott for their commitment to protecting Deer Haven forever.

Content and property pictures courtesy of Thames Talbot Land Trust.

Our Partners

bc parks foundation logo bruce conservatory logo community forests international appalachian corridor logo appalachian corridor logo georgian bay land trust logo island nature trust logo LPBLT logo MWLT logo MMLT logo muskoka conservancy logo nature conservatory of canada logo nature trust of British Columbia logo nature trust of new brunswick logo nova scotia nature trust logo oak ridges moraaine land trust logo thames talbot land trust