Ducks Unlimited and several partners are protecting a historic slice of New Hampshire for wildlife and residents.

Thanks to donations from Friends of New Hampshire, DU is helping the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire share the cost of protecting a 400-acre parcel known as the Leighton Forest Protection Project.

The parcel is in Strafford and Barrington, northwest of the Stonehouse Forest. DU, the land trust and other partners including the New Hampshire Game and Fish Department will protect this property which contains healthy forests, wetlands and several streams. The Leighton Forest provides a host of important wildlife habitat and supports historical forested wetlands over 700 years old.

The site provides essential breeding, nesting and migratory habitat for a diversity of birds.

"Anyone that has stepped on this property appreciates the need to protect this special place for wildlife and people," said Duane Hyde, Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire land conservation director. "The diverse partnership of organizations we are working with, including Ducks Unlimited, reinforce what a special place this is."

The land contains a diversity of habitat wealth: 400 acres of prime woodlands, nearly 10,000 linear feet of streams and 13 vernal pools.

With the protection finalized this summer, the next step will be installing a small parking area and informational signs for the public.