Aldermere Farm's Belties graze by Lily Pond. (photo: Sara Gray)
About the Farm
Aldermere Farm, a landmark of midcoast Maine, is one of the world’s premier breeders of Belted Galloway cattle. The 136-acre farm is owned and managed by Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a statewide land conservation organization dedicated to protecting the scenic beauty, outdoor recreational opportunities, ecological diversity, and working landscapes of the Maine coast. The Trust maintains Aldermere as a working farm and educational center, helping visitors deepen their appreciation for land conservation and sustainable agriculture.
Nestled on the western shore of Penobscot Bay in Rockport, Maine, Aldermere Farm has been an area landmark for generations. Maine Coast Heritage Trust owns and manages this working 136-acre farm thanks to a generous bequest made by the late Albert H. Chatfield, Jr. Aldermere supports a world-renowned herd of Belted Galloway cattle and is permanently protected by conservation easements. MCHT is currently developing long-term stewardship plans.
Aldermere farm looking toward the northwest. The shore of Penobscot Bay is at lower right; Lily Pond in center; Camden Harbor at upper right; Mt. Megunticook and Mt. Battie in background. (photo: Jim Wark)
Aldermere Farm is a traditional New England saltwater farm, with rugged fields, weathered stone walls, a rocky shoreline, and simple yet elegant structures. The farm’s 136 acres include fields, woods, and wetlands, as well as the buildings and grounds.
Although most people associate the farm with the Belties, Aldermere’s famous herd of Belted Galloway cattle, the farm is also a compelling example of progressive agriculture and a caring land ethic. The late Albert Chatfield, Jr. and his wife Marion restored the land with innovative conservation methods and organic agriculture. It was a lifelong task, and the farm’s splendid condition today attests eloquently to the Chatfields’ devotion to the land they dearly loved.
Aldermere’s pastoral vistas and undeveloped shoreline are a prized scenic feature of Rockport and Camden, and will remain so forever thanks to conservation easements Mr. Chatfield placed on the property. Determined to protect the farm from the relentless build-up of Maine’s coast, Mr. Chatfield worked with Maine Coast Heritage Trust to establish protective easements which legally preclude subdivision and development. Aldermere Farm shows how working farms can be an important aspect of conservation and community planning.
The main barn and pens (photo: Sara Gray)
In his final act of generosity, Mr. Chatfield bequeathed the farm to MCHT when he died in 1999. Aldermere serves as the Trust's midcoast field office.