A New Zealand couple has made headlines across countries with their decision to gift 900 hectares of pristine land to the 'crown', which is the government, saying it is the "right thing to do".
The Guardian reported that the enormous tract of land at the foot of the Remarkables mountain range near Lake Wakatipu would be open to everyone in 2022 after being handed over to the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust.
The landowners, Dick and Jillian Jardine said that their family had owned and worked the land for 98 years. The couple stated that they had received numerous offers from developers but they wanted to see it protected and be kept "as it is forever".
"We thought about this idea and it just stuck so it feels like the right thing to do," Dick Jardine told The New Zealand Herald.
"We want to keep it as it is forever, we don't want buildings all over it or housing, there's so much housing going in around we want to be part of saving something," he added.
Jillian Jardine said that she wanted to see the blooming biodiversity and "iconic nature" of the land to be preserved for a long time and the decision was taken after the family had spent four years discussing the decision.
The trust, in a statement, said the gift was extremely significant for the Wakatipu area and for New Zealand.
"Open landscapes in the Wakatipu basin have come under increasing pressure from subdivision and commercial development driven by the twin pressures of population growth and tourism.
"But the wide-open landscapes of the district are the very values that have attracted both tourists and new residents to the area," said Bruce Wills, the trust's chairperson.
Reports have pointed out that the gifted property is freehold land, currently leased as a working farm, and that will continue for the foreseeable future.