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Success for South of Scotland’s biggest community buyout - John Muir Trust

Langholm community’s “impossible dream” set to come true, with the help of John Muir Trust members and supporters.

The South of Scotland’s largest community buyout is set to go ahead following one of the most ambitious community fundraising campaigns ever seen, with the community of Langholm in Dumfries and Galloway raising the final funds needed in the nick of time.

A landmark community buyout agreement of £3.8 million for over 5,000 acres of land has been reached between local charity The Langholm Initiative and Buccleuch Estates – paving the way for the creation of a huge new nature reserve to help tackle climate change, restore nature, and support community regeneration.

The Trust’s Head of Policy and Land Management, Mike Daniels, said, “The John Muir Trust is delighted that the Langholm community have achieved their aim. Our members and supporters played a significant role in supporting the community financially right from the start, helping to create the momentum that has generated this fantastic outcome. Empowering communities to repair and rewild their natural assets is part of the DNA of the John Muir Trust, and we look forward to engaging with the people of Langholm on the next stage of their inspiring journey.”

Margaret Pool, Chair of The Langholm Initiative, said: “This is an amazing result for Langholm which will live long in the memory. Our community has a strong cultural connection to this land, which has never been sold before, and securing it for generations to come means so much to so many. Huge thanks to Buccleuch for their positive engagement.”

The purchase – to be finalised by January 2021 – will lead to the creation of the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve, with globally important peatlands and ancient woods restored, native woodlands established, and a haven ensured for wildlife including rare hen harriers. The project will also support community regeneration, including through plans for the community to capitalise on new nature-based tourism opportunities. Discussions will continue over the remaining 5,300 acres of land the community has expressed an interest in buying.

Posted on: 03 November 2020

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