A former dairy, sheep, poultry and crop farm, the Demeritt farm was purchased by UNH in 1969 to be used by the department of animal science and others for agricultural education and research. The current focus for the agricultural part of this farm is the support of the organic dairy. The Demerritt farmstead is being reviewed for renovation and protection as a cultural heritage resource.
Wooded areas on the farm consist of approximately 130 acres, 17 of which are forested wetlands. Substantial frontage on the Lamprey river makes this property important in regards to protection of this important waterway and its’ associated habitat. In fact, both this and the Dudley lot are targets for permanent land protection measures by the Town of Lee and the Lamprey River Advisory Committee.
This property is multi-use so is open to the public for most forms of non-motorized recreation including hunting, fishing and all forms of pedestrian traffic. This lot is periodically harvested as part of UNH’s sustainable timber harvesting program. The last commercial harvest performed on this property was in 1985. In 2012, the first of a series of non-commercial timber harvests were completed in support of a program to determine whether a farm's woodlot could supply the volume of wood needed to produce bedding for the herd at the farm. In the winter if 2014-2015 an area was harvested as part of a research project that looks at the implementation of silvopasture and the effects on nutrient cycling within a forest ecosystem.
Past Research associated with the Burley-Demeritt woodlot:
- Outwintering Beef Cow study
- Wild Turkey Ecology study
- Lamprey River Hydrologic Observatory
From Durham, take Mill Road to Packers Fall Road. Turn left onto Packers Fall Road to Wiswall Road. Turn right onto Wiswall Road. Make a left turn at the two way stop at the end of Wiswall Road. This road intersects with Lee Hook Road. At the intersection turn right. Continue down Lee Hook Road for 0.3 miles and you will see the entrance to the Burley Demeritt farm on your left.
APPROXIMATE LOCATION: N 43°05.842', W 70°59.482'