About the Virginia Countryside

Conservation Easements

The Virginia countryside is acclaimed for its scenic beauty — rolling hills, gently sloping mountains, and rural charm — and equestrian lifestyle. Much of its historic settings, wide open spaces, and farmland has been actively preserved with open-space conservation easements. This is a brief overview of what easements are and how they work to protect our beloved Virginia's countryside. 

a cow pasture and wooden fence in the Virginia countryside overlooking the mountains

Land Conservation Through the Virginia Outdoors Foundation

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation holds many of the easements in the state, allowing landowners to determine how they want to use the land within local planning rules, whether for development or for preservation. 

Open-space conservation easements are binding legal documents between the landowner and the Virginia Outdoors Foundation that state how the land will be used in the present and in the future. The easement is bound to the property deed, so that even when land changes ownership, it will still be protected. 

Examples of Conservation Easements in Virginia

Over 750,000 acres of farmland, forests, and open spaces in the state of Virginia have been preserved since 1966 with the use of these open-space conservation easements. In our area of Virginia, more than 150,000 acres have been preserved.

Caledonia Farm in Rappahannock County

Caledonia Farm, a bed and breakfast operating in Rappahannock County, became an open-space easement in 1973.

Today, it is still beloved by visitors for the scenic pasturelands, stone fences, Blue Ridge Mountain views, and preserved architecture in the 19th-century home. 

Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's Historic Home

The home of former president Thomas Jefferson is another example of an open-space easement in Virginia. More than 1,000 acres of property at Monticello were donated to the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and encompass historic properties on the site. 

Visit the Virginia Outdoors Foundation's 50 Years, 50 Stories page to find other examples of easements and conservation sites.

Find a Beautiful Country Property or Horse Farm in Virginia

In an area not far from Washington, DC yet steeped in unmatched natural beauty, there are beautiful country properties and horse farms for sale in Virginia to give you the peaceful lifestyle and scenic beauty you have been searching for. We would love to talk with you about living in the Virginia countryside — call us today at 703.966.9480. 


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