Community ‘achieves the impossible’ with Scottish land buyout, and vows to rewild

A community that created its own nature reserve after completing one of Scotland’s largest ever land buyouts has done it again.

Under the aegis of the Langholm Initiative charity, the community raised £3.8m via crowdfunding to buy 5,200 acres from the Duke of Buccleuch last year. This week, it built on that success, raising £2.2m to buy 5,300 more acres.

This will double the size and scope of the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve. It was established to address the climate and nature crises and promote community regeneration.

“We are so grateful to every single person who has backed this beacon of hope for people and planet – together we have achieved the impossible,” said Jenny Barlow, Tarras Valley Nature Reserve’s estate manager. “It’s been a rollercoaster, but the generosity and unwavering support of so many wonderful donors and volunteers have got us over the line in the nick of time.”

The reserve will see the restoration of globally important peatlands, ancient woods, and native woodlands, as well as rare species like hen harriers, and expansion of native forests. Six new jobs have been created as a result of community regeneration using a nature-based strategy. Langholm was once a vibrant textile center, but the industry has declined in recent decades.

“This is about a grassroots fightback against the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis, and helping to create a better future. We are doing something so special here, and our expanding reserve is an amazing opportunity for people to visit this part of the world and be inspired by the wonders of nature.”

Main image: Langholm Initiative

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