N-Neck Land Conservancy celebrates 15th year

Geese provide natural pest control at Ditchley’s orchard in Northumberland County.

The sights and sounds of a vast tidal marsh at dawn thrill Tom Tullidge and his family when they visit their Essex County farm to hunt waterfowl and delight in what the rural property has to offer.

“It’s stunningly beautiful,” he says of the 750-acre tract called Gwynnfield which juts into the Rappahannock River just upstream of Tappahannock. “There are birds working and the dogs are eyeing the sky.”

Miles away and across the Northern Neck peninsula, a tiny, 13-acre parcel holds an equal appeal to another proud landowner: Catherine Gordon built a cabin beside a tributary of the Coan River years ago and retreats there regularly from her work in Washington, D.C.

When she drives up to the property and spots Mill Creek sparkling through the trees, “I feel like I’m home,” she says. “I’m grateful for my plot of heaven on the Northern Neck.”

Tullidge, the chief financial officer of a Richmond investment firm, and Gordon, a nurse practitioner for a Catholic charity in D.C., are just two of the people who have turned to the Northern Neck Land Conservancy (NNLC) to protect the land…