Langholm Initiative completes community buyout

THE Langholm Initiative has hailed a “moment of history and hope” after completing its £2.2 million purchase of 5,300 acres in Dumfries & Galloway from landowner Buccleuch.

The deal has doubled the size of the Tarras Valley nature reserve to 10,500 acres and fulfils the charity’s original £6m goal.

The community raised £3.8m last year to purchase the initial 5,200 acres and six residential properties from Buccleuch.

John Hanrahan, chair of the Langholm Initiative, said: “This is a moment of history and hope.

“It shows how communities can achieve the remarkable when people work together, even when the odds seem impossible.

“Huge thanks go to the thousands of people who went above and beyond to make this happen, and to Buccleuch for working with us so positively throughout.”

“The climate and nature emergencies are one of the biggest long-term threats facing us all, and restoring nature on a large scale is one powerful solution – so we are hugely proud to be playing our part, and we hope our story will inspire other similar projects across Scotland and beyond.”

Benny Higgins, executive chairman of Buccleuch, added: “Since first expressing interest in the area of Langholm Moor – which now forms Tarras Valley nature reserve – The Langholm Initiative has shown what can be achieved with a strong, forward-looking plan, and has brought the community and those further afield along with them on the journey to accomplishing land ownership.

“For myself and the Buccleuch team, it has been a pleasure to be part of this story, and we look forward, with Tarras Valley nature reserve, to what can be achieved by them in the future.”

Read more stories on Scottish Field’s outdoors pages.

Plus, don’t miss photographer Kevin Morgans’ puffin pictures in the November issue of Scottish Field magazine.