On October 28, 1996, the Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust purchased the development rights to Plat 32, Lot 1, from Mr. Peter Hathaway. The Deed to Development Rights was recorded in the Little Compton Land Evidence Records on November 12, 1996. The property is located on Brownell Road. Plat 32, Lot 1 consists of twenty and three tenths (20.3) acres of land. The property is protected through a Deed to Development Rights and a Covenant Regarding Restriction of Property to Agricultural Uses.
A Baseline Documentation Report was completed on the Hathaway Property during the months of February and March 2020. The Report outlines the history of the property, as well as, it’s current uses (see below).
Prior Land Uses: The Premises has been in agriculture since the first aerial images taken in 1939 which show all but the Easternmost portion of the Premises being used for hay or pasture. Agricultural activity on the Premises seems to have been limited to hay production until the 21st century when aerial imagery shows an intensification of cultivation and infrastructure. By 2014, high tunnel structures are visible in the Eastern fields of the Premises.
The Eastern corner of the Premises is a low-lying stream channel with scrub-shrub habitat on either side. As the 20th century progresses, aerial imagery shows very little change in land use on the Premises, save the maturing of the Eastern scrub-shrub habitat into a forested canopy. As the 20th century comes to an end, the Northeastern fields bisected by a stream channel have ceased to be mowed regularly and have begun a regime of secondary succession into a scrub-shrub wetland.
Current Land Uses: At present, the uses of the Premises span from undisturbed riparian wildlife habitat to intensively-managed cropland. Approximately nine acres of the Premises, concentrated around the interior excluded house lot, are leased by a local farmer and utilized for vegetable production. Laying hens are pastured on less than an acre of land just west of the house lot. A half-acre fallow field lies in the Northern corner of the complex of fields on the Premises. The remainder of the Premises, approximately eight acres on the Eastern end, is a mix of scrub-shrub and hardwood forest habitat. This wooded area has had some understory thinning to promote the culling of White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) by farmers who regard the species as a nuisance and economic threat.