A volunteer who gets up at the crack of dawn every day to tend to Chesham's gardens and flowerbeds is to be made the town's first Honorary Freeman.

Vince Crompton's eight years as a committee member for the Chesham in Bloom group has seen the town win a number of horticultural awards - culminating in a gold medal last year.

His tireless work making the town look its best led to him being nominated for the honour of Honorary Freeman by the Chiltern Chamber.

Members of Chesham Town Council unanimously voted in favour of handing Mr Crompton the award, which will be formally bestowed upon him at the Annual Town Meeting on Thursday.

Mr Crompton said of learning about the award: "I was astonished, to be honest. I deem it a great honour and a privilege.

"I didn't set out expecting anything in return. For me, if you're going to do voluntary work, you don't expect anything. If you do you're putting yourself forward and not doing it because you want to.

"I feel very humbled. I'm grateful to the people who supported me."

He added: "I want to go on working in the best interests of the town."

He is the first person in Chesham to be nominated for the award since the law was changed in 2009, allowing town and parish councils to confer the title of Honorary Freeman or Freewoman. Prior to that, only county and district councils had the power to hand out the awards.

The town council agreed to grant him the honour after receiving a nomination from the Chiltern Chamber.

Members of the Chamber highlighted Mr Crompton's work for older people in the town, including donating and cooking lunch at Christmas for the elderly at Trinity Baptist Church, being a trustee and vice chairman at the Douglas McMinn Day Care Centre, and visiting and cooking for housebound older persons across town.

He was also a founder member of the Chesham Allotments Group and been chairman of Chesham in Bloom for the last two and a half years.

He's taken a hands on approach to the role - regularly going out at 5am to weed and water the town's flowerbeds.

Mr Crompton will receive a scroll admitting him as a Freeman at the Annual Town Meeting at the Town Hall on Thursday. It begins at 7.30pm and is open to all.