Community group set to double size of nature reserve

A PROPOSED community-owned nature reserve in the south of Scotland is on track to be doubled in size, thanks to a successful second round of fundraising.

Following an initial fundraising campaign – which raised £3.8m – to purchase 5,200 acres of land (and six residential properties) from the local Bucchleuch estate, The Langholm Initiative community group successfully raised a further £2.2m to secure an additional 5,300 acres.

The £2.2m was raised by a deadline of July 31 this year, with individual donations of £300,000 and £100,00 from two separate people helping push the crowdfunding ‘over the line’.

Says The Langholm Initiative, here: “On the reserve, globally-important peatlands and ancient woods are to be restored, native woodlands expanded, and a haven ensured for wildlife including rare hen harriers.

“Community regeneration through a nature-based approach is a central aim, with six new jobs already created. Langholm was once a thriving textile centre, but the industry has declined in recent years.”

The combined campaigns are being described as the “south of Scotland’s largest community buyout”.

Update: November 11 2022: the BBC (here) and others are reporting the buyout has been completed.

Picture credit: Tom Hutton