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Thomas & Mary Young Nature Sanctuary

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Thomas & Mary Young Nature Sanctuary

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The Thomas and Mary Young Nature Sanctuary is a 10 acre wetland property located in north Flamborough in the Beverly Swamp which is within the Fairchild Creek drainage basin (part of the Grand River watershed). It consists of an open cattail dominated environment, with an intricate network of narrow open water channels running between hummocks and sparsely spaced trees throughout most of the property.

The Thomas and Mary Young Nature Sanctuary was created in 2005 through a generous donation of land to the HNC by Dundas resident Lorraine Stewart. The sanctuary is named after Ms. Stewart’s grandparents, who first acquired the property in the early part of the 20th century, when lands in the area were sold as bush lots to local farmers whose farms were completely cleared. Thomas Young had a life long interest in conservation that was reflected in the family’s good stewardship of the land, which today appears untouched by human hands. We are truly grateful to Ms. Stewart for entrusting us with preserving this significant property that her family has such a long association with conservation.

Ecology and Highlights

The sanctuary is entirely within the Beverly Swamp, a Provincially Significant Wetland that is one of the largest remaining tracts of intact lowland swamp forest in southern Ontario. The Beverly Swamp functions as the headwaters for three major creek systems (Bronte, Spencer and Fairchild) and plays a very important role in improving water quality and regulating seasonal flow in these watercourses. It is also designated as part of a Provincially Significant Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (Life Science) and an Environmentally Significant Area for the City of Hamilton. A high diversity of biological communities and significant species are known to be present within the swamp.


The HNC’s Head-of-the-Lake :and Trust program and a volunteer property steward coordinate ongoing volunteer management and monitoring of the nature sanctuary. The management priority is committed to the long-term protection of the sanctuary in a natural state. Due to the sensitive and isolated nature of the property and the difficulty in accessing it, no public access will be permitted and no trails or other facilities will be developed.

Thomas & Mary Young Nature Sanctuary