A chunk of Nova Scotia coastal land featuring a wide range of habitats will be protected from development through the Nature Conservancy of Canada and government funding.

The federal government and the conservancy announced Wednesday that 336 hectares of land in Deep Cove, near Chester, will be preserved.

"The purchase of these properties will help a huge block of undeveloped land that has been threatened by both timber and urban housing developments," said federal Environment Minister John Baird.

Baird said the area on the province's south shore is an example of the kind of lands the government is committed to protecting.

"Many Canadians see the way we treat our environment as a legacy to pass on to future generations," said Baird. "With the work of the Nature Conservancy, I think we're helping to deliver on that commitment."

Bill Freedman, chair of the Nature Conservancy's board of directors, said the land is a natural gift to Nova Scotians and Canadians.

"This is done not only for preserving biodiversity, but also for Nova Scotians, Canadians, and visitors," said Freedman. "These lands will always be natural, always be wild, and in most cases, always accessible for public use."

The area is home to several rare lichens that grow in the humid environment, migratory birds, and the largest stands of natural Jack pines in the province.

The Deep Cove area is adjacent to another provincially protected area, the Blandford Nature Reserve. 

Combined, the two areas now make up about 690 hectares of conserved land. 

The Deep Cove land was acquired through Ottawa's Natural Areas Conservation Program, a $225-million investment announced last year to protect natural areas through the Nature Conservancy.

The federal investment in the $800,000 Deep Cove project is roughly $250,000.

The province's Nova Scotia Habitat Conservation Fund provided another $12,000, while the rest will come from foundations and private individuals.