Since 1984

1984 Carolinian Canada Sites
Sinclair's Bush



Sinclair's Bush is a 46-ha, significant forest in the Regional Municipality of Chatham-Kent, where forest cover has declined to 3% of pre-settlement levels. The maple-beech forest has scattered Tulip-trees, Hop-hornbeam, and Basswood throughout. In spring, the ground is covered with Trout Lily, Dutchman's Breeches, and Jack-in-the-pulpit. Less common plants such as Appendaged Waterleaf, Wood Phlox, and Running Strawberry Bush are also here.

Approximately 33-ha of private lands in Sinclair's Bush are protected through landowner cooperation. Stewardship Kent has been involved in a project with a local landowner of a 30-ha maple syrup operation in Sinclair's Bush. The non-profit stewardship group helped pay the cost of 3,000 "health spiles", which are used in maple tapping and create smaller-diameter holes than the traditional larger-diameter spiles, thus producing cleaner holes and allowing trees to heal faster and reducing the possibility of tree pathogens.


Area Type:
Carolinian Canada Site

46 ha

This Site is designated as a Critical Natural Area and an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI).


"Although it doesn't look a lot different, there are big benefits," says Don Hector of Stewardship Kent. "Tapping trees for the production of maple syrup is a common use of forest systems throughout Ontario, and it's great to see a landowner taking this initiative." (taken from the Carolinian Canada Signature Sites Guide by Lorraine Johnson 2005).



The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority manages a 1.6-ha woodlot, four km southeast of Blenheim, in Sinclair's Bush. It is open to the public for day use. It is not open for incompatible day use or overnight activities such as camping.

From Blenheim, take Talbot Trail south to Harwich Road, and turn south on Harwich Road. Sinclair's Bush is located on the northeast corner of Harwich Road and Sinclair Line. For more information, visit the LTVCA website at


Natural Features

Sinclair's Bush is Site #29 in the Natural Heritage Stewardship Program. In addition to being a Carolinian Canada site, Sinclair’s Bush is also an ANSI (Area of Natural and Scientific Interest). Seven provincially rare species are found here, including the pawpaw tree, tulip tree, Carrey’s Sedge and the winged monkey flower. This forest is an undisturbed, original forest.

Pawpaw tree is one of seven provincially rare species found in Sinclair's Bush. This tropical-looking tree (flowers shown on right) bears Ontario's largest edible native fruit. It tastes like a cross between banana and apple, with a bit of tangy pineapple adding zip. Note, however, that fruit should never be picked from conservation areas. The rare Zebra Swallowtail butterfly feeds on its leaves (taken from the Carolinian Canada Signature Sites Guide by Lorraine Johnson 2005).



Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority
100 Thames Street, Chatham, Ontario, Canada N7L 2Y8
Phone: 519-354-7310 Fax: 519-352-3435
Copyright © 2001 Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority. All rights reserved.




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