A small community in the south of Scotland has succeeded in buying a large part of one of Scotland’s most famous grouse moors owned by one of the UK’s most powerful hereditary landowners. The successful initiative will pave the way for the creation of a major new nature reserve aimed at tackling climate change, restoring nature, and supporting local regeneration.
After racing against time to raise funding, the Scottish village of Langholm eventually managed to buy over 2,000 hectares of Langholm Moor for £3.8m from the dukes of Buccleuch, who have been holding ownership over the land for centuries.
The deal, considered as Scotland’s largest community land buyout, follows months of fundraising by the Langholm Initiative, which only succeeded with hours to spare before the deadline of 31 October.
“Community ownership can be a catalyst for regeneration, which we want to show can be done with the environment at its heart,” said Kevin Cumming, the initiative’s project lear. “We hope the success here will encourage and inspire other communities in Scotland and across the UK.”
Now, the plan is to create a new nature reserve called Tarras Valley, which will aim at reviving Langholm’s ancient peatlands and protecting the area’s biodiversity.