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‘Epic’ moor deal officially done

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By Christie Breen
Annan and Eskdale
‘Epic’ moor deal officially done

THE LANGHOLM Initiative has now completed its epic land buyout in what has been described as a ‘moment of history and hope’.

With the official transfer of land ownership finalised on November 4, the community group have doubled the size of the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve.

The landmark agreement of £2.2m for 5300 acres was reached between the charity and Buccleuch, after a hugely ambitious community fundraising campaign in July.

Chair of the Langholm Initiative John Hanrahan said: “This is a moment of history and hope. It shows how communities can achieve the remarkable when people work together, even when the odds seem impossible. Huge thanks go to the thousands of people who went above and beyond to make this happen, and to Buccleuch for working with us so positively throughout.”

The additional 5300 acres now added to the reserve include internationally significant peatlands, the headwaters of the River Tarras, and three properties including a working upland sheep farm.

A community-led plan will shape the next five years of priorities and activities, including community regeneration through a nature-based approach.

Executive chairman of Buccleuch Benny Higgins added: “Since first expressing interest in the area of Langholm Moor which now forms Tarras Valley Nature Reserve, The Langholm Initiative has shown what can be achieved with a strong, forward-looking plan, and has brought the community and those further afield along with them on the journey to accomplishing land ownership.

“For myself and the Buccleuch team, it has been a pleasure to be part of this story, and we look forward, with Tarras Valley Nature Reserve, to what can be achieved by them in the future.”

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