A former councillor has bought part of a local wood - in a bid to end speculation about its future.

Ed Wilson who represented Clewer South on the Royal Borough until April has bought part of Hemwood Dell in Dedworth. The Dell is an ancient 2.4 acre woodland site situated off Wolf Lane, Windsor that has been sold off in plots at auction recently.

It is managed by the Royal Borough but owned privately and nearby residents have been worried by recent sales by auction of strips of the site.

Supporters of the Dell suspect that buyers believed they would be able to build on the land in spite of restrictive covenants that should theoretically make it impossible to do this. The Dell's status as public highway would make building on it an offence under the Highways Act.

Mr Wilson said: “When one of the plots came up for sale, I thought the only way to be sure of stopping this nonsense was to buy it myself.

“No housing will go on that part of the Dell under my ownership.”

He has been in discussion with the Royal Borough about using his ownership of the strip of land to plant more trees.

West Windsor Residents Association has also been at the forefront of the campaign to ensure the Dell's long term safety.

A petition has been circulating calling on the council to buy the site and end concerns about its future once and for all.

The Dell is home to a variety of wildlife including bats, deer, bees and insects.