A pristine 11-hectare island near Halifax has been saved from development after local groups raised enough money to save the land.

Troop Island, home to an Acadian forest full of towering hardwoods hundreds of years old, is now in the hands of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

"We’ve never had a case where we had an opportunity like this, a need as big as this, to raise money so quickly and to have it come together," said executive director Bonnie Sutherland.

The island's owner gave local groups until Friday to buy Troop Island or it would have been sold for development.

They raised  $820,000 including $100,000 for an endowment fund to maintain it. That could include trails and signage.

Ella McQuinn St. Margaret's Bay Stewardship Association spent three years working to save the island.

"There are places that create experiences that last a lifetime. If we don't protect them those experiences will be cut off for future generations."

Troop Island will remain public. About 85 per cent of Nova Scotia's coastline is privately owned.