What is a Land Trust?

A land trust is a community-based, private, non-profit organization that encourages balanced community development through voluntary land preservation.

The VES Land Trust was formed by local landowners in 2003 to preserve the Eastern Shore’s prime farm and forest land, its scenic, fragile water front and rural byways, its historic resources and traditional land use patterns, and its world class natural resources and wildlife habitat.

We work with landowners, their families, public agencies and communities in both Accomack and Northampton Counties to promote voluntary land protection options, such as conservation easements.

Like so many other coastal communities, the Shore’s unique rural landscape is in danger of being lost. Forever.

VES Land Trust Goals

We work to preserve the unique qualities of Virginia’s Eastern Shore by:

  • Advising landowners of the economic benefits of conservation easements and other land protection tools.
  • Educating the public about the high value to the community of protecting land in perpetuity.
  • Maintaining productive farms, forests and fisheries.
  • Retaining and enhancing wildlife habitat, wetlands and other productive natural resources.
  • Protecting ample supplies of safe drinking water.
  • Preserving historic resources.
  • Providing recreational opportunities on land and water.

Threatened Future

irginia’s Eastern Shore is one of the few truly rural regions left on the crowded East Coast. Its farms, forests and fisheries are still productive. Its small settlements and larger towns retain a traditional character. Its forests, creeks and marshes support migratory birds and other wildlife that is recognized internationally for its quality and value.

But the Shore’s landscape is swiftly changing. Residential housing increasingly crowds the water
front, while commercial development clutters Route 13. Essential wildlife corridors are becoming fragmented, while vital water resources are placed at risk.