John Spedan Lewis Trust


For many years the Leckford Estate has been playing its part in promoting the natural sciences. This became formalised through the creation of the John Spedan Lewis Trust, paying homage to the work the Partnership's founder began.

The Creation of the John Spedan Lewis Trust

The Estate became a natural history study centre in 1963, celebrating the work of John Spedan Lewis - bringing his work and ideas about the natural environment to life. The old bath-house in the village of Leckford became their field centre and is still in use today.

The Trust today

The Trust’s team members remain as dedicated and as active today in their work to study, research and promote. There’s already over 60 years of data in their archives covering a whole ecosystem from across the estate, and the collection continues to grow. 

Dedicated reserves are carefully managed along with study and research projects involving students and specialist groups. They monitor and record plant and animal species, in order to raise awareness of the impact we can have as a society - then use this information to help shape the way we interact with nature. 

Their Visitor Open Days invite us all to explore and find out more about the natural world - and how we can support it. 

Talks from experts give an insight into the ongoing work to improve, maintain and preserve the natural world around us - whether this is in our own back gardens or as farmers and landowners. 

Continuing project work and research supports our operations on the estate. Studies into fly life on the river Test, along with moth and plant populations, have helped inform how we manage maintenance of these areas. 

Much of our land is dedicated to hedgerows, woodland and field margins and findings from research into bumble bee populations and the diversity of field margins has given us the knowledge to make decisions so we can work more sustainably with nature. 

Working Together - the Estate and the Trust

Leckford Estate and the Trust work collaboratively on all aspects of biodiversity. 

Our Farming Manager is one of the trustees and we work together on research projects and education; together we develop management plans for our reserves and put in place programmes for conservation and restoration. 

The Trust helps to inform and support our work as a regenerative business, providing expert advice and support so we can run our operations in harmony with nature. 

Together we’re proud of the Trust and its vital work on the estate, helping to realise John Spedan Lewis’ vision then, now and into the future. 

Members of the John Spedan Lewis Trust

The Trust's Work - in a Nutshell

  • Establishing nine reserves across the whole of Leckford estate. Each reserve being a study and research base for students, experts and organisations who work to preserve and promote the natural environment. 
  • An independent body that can work with and support business operations on the Leckford estate.
  • A charity dedicated to supporting individuals and organisations in the education and study of the natural world. 
  • A modern organisation that embodies a vision and purpose that was realised many years ago by the founder of the John Lewis Partnership. 
  • Experts and enthusiasts that collect and maintain records to inform local and national debate about the state of biodiversity. 

Join Us

The Trust hosts regular walks and open days on the estate which are open to the public. Their annual lecture is open to all and covers a whole range of environmental topics. 

If you would like to join us as a member or volunteer or come to one of our open days or talks - then contact us by sending your enquiry to: 

Alan Wilson | Trust Chair | aw629252@aol.com

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