Hilfield Friary is situated in 50 acres of beautiful Dorset countryside. A variety of underlying geology gives rise to range of precious habitats providing home for a wide diversity of species. The land is actively managed to be as welcoming to all these brothers and sisters as possible with the main focus on conservation and biodiversity. Find out more about the species we share our home with and how we look after them below.
Hilfield Compartment Map
See the corresponding numbers and titles below the map to find out more about each compartment. Click on the images to find out more.
Click on our animal images below to find out more
What to see and do throughout the seasons at Hilfield
Click on the images below to find out
Our Conservation Partners
Hi Stoy Conservation Cluster
One of the most exciting upshots from our purchase of the new land is how it connects neighbours with similar conservation interests like the missing piece of a jigsaw.
This has stimulated us to get together and form the ‘High Stoy Conservation Cluster’.
Here neighbours offer encouragement, advice and practical support to one another as well developing a landscape scale approach to conservation.
One of the partners kindly donated some tit boxes which have been put up around the Friary and a neighbouring farm. A couple have already been used this year.
The Friary have built a series of nest boxes, one for each partner. We have made a barn owl box and a kestrel box which will be put up on our neighbours land to help wildlife and celebrate our new partnership.
Wildflower seed harvest
A special cutting machine has cut the seed-rich hay from the camping field and spread it onto some of our the new land. These seeds should then germinate and it will be very exciting to see what comes up this spring in what was just a boring green desert of grass.
Heritage Seeds have harvested wildflower seed from the Top Field. This will be used to help restore wildflower meadows on two neighboring farms.
Duke of Burgundy butterfly
The Duke of Burgundy Butterfly is one of the species the group are in a good position to try and help collectively. This rare butterfly actually has two small colonies at either end of the land managed by members of the cluster. We are looking at ways we can link them up by creating the right kind of habitat for caterpillars and adults. It is a great example of the importance and power of a landscape scale approach to conservation that is possible by working together.
A Rocha UK
A Rocha UK is a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world. Visit their website: http://arocha.org.uk/.
The Friary was the first community in the UK to be given an Eco Church Gold Award in recognition of the integrated ecology we are seeking to put into practice at Hilfield.
The Partners in Action network is a collaborative network of Christian land managers demonstrating active care for the natural world and is coordinated by A Rocha UK. We work together in practical ways such as participating in joint conservation work like the Target Ten Project, by sharing ideas and information, and by praying for one another.
Partners in Action are youth outdoor centres, community groups, intentional communities and retreat centres. All of them are working for a positive impact on their land and their visitors out of a conviction that Christians have a responsibility to care for the natural world and those who inhabit it.
Through Partners in Action, A Rocha UK helps support local initiatives to achieve their conservation-based goals. A Rocha UK can offer partners such services as – helping host events, conducting species surveys or providing conservation guidance.
You can get involved with a Partner near you!
Hilfield Friary is part of the Society of St Francis, a worldwide Anglican
Religious Order. Visit their website: https://www.franciscans.org.uk/
We have a Community day off every Monday. In an emergency please
phone 01300 341345 and leave a message.