The Chiltern Society has taken over the maintenance and control of three important nature reserves in Buckinghamshire.
The sites at Prestwood, Princes Risborough and Marlow have been handed over to the conservation and environmental group by Wycombe District Council on a 99 year lease with a peppercorn rent of £1 a year.
At a handing over ceremony at Brush Hill nature reserve near Princes Risborough, on Wednesday, Cllr John Gibbs, the council’s cabinet member for community, told volunteers: “The council is delighted the society is taking on these sites.
“You give the time, the talent and the passion to these woodlands. It is real localism in action and we should go for that.”
Roger Newman, vice chairman of the society, said: “This is an important milestone for us.
“We have over 6,500 members and over 400 active volunteers working constantly on nature reserves and commons.
“We are committed to maintaining and creating diverse habitats as well as encouraging the community, particularly young people, to get involved in safeguarding, enjoying and appreciating this special countryside on their doorstep.