This guest blog by Alison Hutton, a volunteer with the Langholm Initiative, explains the group’s vision and how you can support its planned community buyout.
Imagine a rough, narrow river valley in the far south of Scotland, opening to a broad heathery upland, a grouse moor for 200 years, now largely abandoned and for sale.
Now imagine the same land in community ownership in ten years’ time under management which puts natural diversity at its heart. Picture a mosaic of different habitats, broad leaved trees, the gradual restoration of birds and animals which last lived in the landscape hundreds of years ago. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to repair the land and see around us the wildlife that should be occupying the ground on the ‘back of the hill’ behind Langholm.
Since May 2019 Langholm has been pursuing a community buyout from the Buccleuch Estate with the ambition of turning the huge area of land on its doorstep into a large nature reserve and using it in ways that differ from the historic management of poor, upland ground in Scotland. There is scope for so much. We can address the climate emergency, re-wet vast areas of peat to store carbon, treasure our rare and iconic hen harriers and black grouse, plant native and other broad leaved trees, offer educational and tourism experiences, and more.
All the information about the project and an outline business plan can be found online at langholminitiative.org.uk. Major funders have already pledged over £3.1 million towards one of two options: 10,500 acres for £6.4 million or 5,200 acres for £4.2 million. More than two and a half thousand people from all over the UK have contributed to our crowdfunder so far.
The Scottish Land Fund has given the deadline of 31 October for all the funding to be in place. This is rapidly approaching. Discussions with major funders continue but it would be very helpful to spread the word ever further just by talking to your friends and family. We should be grateful. One of the most heartening features of the work to get everything done is to read the remarks on the website crowdfunder from people who believe so firmly in what we are attempting to do.
Alison Hutton, Langholm Initiative
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This guest blog by Alison Hutton, a volunteer with the Langholm Initiative, explains the group’s vision and how you can support its planned community buyout. Imagine a rough, narrow river …