THE South of Scotland’s largest community buyout will double in size after campaigners raised £2.2 million to buy Langholm Moor.
The Langholm Initiative will buy the 5,300 acres of land and three properties from Buccleuch Estates.
The Dumfriesshire town hit its fundraising target in time for last Sunday’s deadline.
Nearly 3,000 people donated to the total through a crowdfunding campaing, which was launched nine months ago, taking the online figure past its £200,000 stretched target to reach more than £242,000.
The deal will double the size of the Tarras Valley nature reserve, which was created last year after The Langholm Initiative raised £3.8m to buy an initial 5,200 acres and six residential properties from Buccleuch Estates.
Jenny Barlow, Tarras Valley nature reserve’s estate manager, said: “We are so grateful to every single person who has backed this beacon of hope for people and planet – together we have achieved the impossible.
“It’s been a rollercoaster, but the generosity and unwavering support of so many wonderful donors and volunteers have got us over the line in the nick of time.
“This is about a grassroots fightback against the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis, and helping to create a better future.
“We are doing something so special here, and our expanding reserve is an amazing opportunity for people to visit this part of the world and be inspired by the wonders of nature.”
Benny Higgins, executive chairman of Buccleuch Estates, said: “We are absolutely delighted for The Langholm Initiative and have been pleased to work with them and support their project every step of the way.
“This successful outcome is testament to what can be achieved by people working together constructively.
“When Buccleuch launched its community consultation on the proposed sale of 25,000 acres of land on Langholm Moor, we couldn’t know what the community’s aspirations would be.
“To see The Langholm Initiative grow the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve from the initial 5,200 acres to almost double that is fantastic, and we look forward to seeing the evolution of the project over the coming years.”
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