Members of South Scotland’s biggest community buyout are calling on donors to help them raise £400,000 to expand their nature reserve.
The town of Langholm in Dumfries and Galloway has until 31 July to raise £2.2 million to purchase 5,300 acres of Langholm Moor from land management company Buccleuch.
If the money is raised, the community group, a charity called the Langholm Initiative, would double the size of its already community-owned Tarras Valley Nature Reserve.
The group took ownership of the nature reserve in March last year after raising £3.8 million to buy 5,200 acres of land and six residential properties, which was part of the first stage of the community buyout.
A public crowd-funder for the initiative’s second purchase has exceeded its £200,000 target, but members are encouraging the public to keep donating to help them reach their final £400,000 goal to make this next purchase possible.
“We need one last big push to help make history happen and get us over the line,” said Jenny Barlow, Tarras Valley Nature Reserve’s Estate Manager.
“We are urging major donors to come forward, and asking people to keep donating to our crowd-funder.
“Every pound gets us one step closer.”
Last month, the Scottish Land Fund awarded the Langholm Initiative charity the sum of £1 million towards the buyout.
Other charities backing the purchase include Borders Forest Trust, John Muir Trust, Rewilding Britain, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Trees for Life, and the Woodland Trust.
Buccleuch has also supported the community bid, agreeing with the Langholm Initiative a fixed purchase price in 2019 and extending fundraising deadlines.
Langholm said the nature reserve has important peatlands and ancient woods that are being restored, and native woodlands established to create a haven for wildlife including hen harriers, short-eared owls and merlins.
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