Residents are reportedly scrambling to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds to buy a beautiful ancient woodland that has gone up for sale in a bid to protect it for future generations.

Finings Wood in Lane End - along with Pittmans Shaw, near Checkendon in South Oxfordshire - has gone up for sale, and Lane End residents say this is the "perfect opportunity" to save it and nurture it for future use.

'For sale' boards went up at the woodland at the end of March. Offers over £600,000 are being invited by Tustins, who are marketing the woodland.

Finings Wood has been privately owned and largely inaccessible - but Lane End residents say bringing the 63-acre site into public use could have huge benefits for the community.

A Facebook group has been set up to coordinate efforts and an urgent meeting was held on April 5.

The Chiltern Hills contain the most extensive area of native beech woodland in England with an estimated 60 percent being ancient woodland - including Finings Wood and Pittmans Shaw.

Mike Tustin, of Woodland and Forestry specialists Tustins, is handling the sale of Fining Wood and Pittmans Shaw and said: “We have recently sold three woodlands in the Chilterns area above their guide prices which highlights the strength of the market in this attractive area.

“We are delighted to be offering two further Chilterns woodlands following the sales of Rignall Wood, 20 acres near Great Missenden (guide price £255,000), Longdown Wood, 15 acres near Princes Risborough (guide price £180,000) and High Park Wood, 19 acres near Berkhamsted (guide price £165,000).

“Fining Wood is mostly classified as ancient woodland - a woodland that has existed continuously since 1600 or before – and is in a stunning location just to the west of High Wycombe

"It is principally broadleaved in character with areas of conifers adding variety. Much of the wood still has the traditional beech stocking of a classic Chilterns woodland.

“Pittmans Shaw, just to the east of the village of Checkendon, is another classic Chilterns beech wood with elements of oak and cherry.

“Pittmans Shaw offers purchasers the opportunity to buy a stunning section of a much larger woodland in a convenient part of rural Oxfordshire. With no additional covenants, potential timber income and privacy this woodland is a real gem.”