Sheppie's Field

Sheppie's Field

Guilford, Vermont 05301

Official Website

About this Location

My wife Laura and I have owned Sheppie’s Meadow for 24 years. It has been a privilege to take care of this beautiful site, and I am thrilled that neighbors Addie and Addison Minott decided to conserve the field through a land trust prior to our purchasing it. This means it will be here to bring joy to all of us, including the wildlife that inhabits this area, for generations to come.

Sadly, grasslands like Sheppie’s Meadow are disappearing rapidly in the northeastern US. During the 1800s, such fields were abundant when the land was being cleared for farming. But today, Vermont’s grasslands are shrinking rapidly as farms revert to forest, and meadows like this one are being lost due to technological changes in agricultural practices, the western migration of farming communities, and the increased population.
Male Bobolink

Grasslands are home to diverse types of wildlife: mammals (such as foxes, deer, black bears, the occasional moose, and lots of rodents), butterflies, and birds, including some of our rarest avian species. Bobolinks nest in fields like Sheppie’s Meadow, an important point, because Vermont suffered a staggering decline in their number (75%) between 1966 and 2007. Because bobolinks require large, contiguous patches of grassland for successful breeding, the timing for mowing a hayfield is crucial to the survival of this species and that of all birds that build their nests in such habitats. Frequent mowing at the start and throughout the growing season will destroy both the nests and the young. Therefore, farmers should postpone the mowing of grasslands until after August 1 so the offspring of threatened bobolinks and other grassland-nesters can safely hatch, fledge, and depart.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

Content from Michael Knapp, Ecological Management of Sheppies Meadow webpage

Last updated October 6, 2023