AN EXTENSION has been agreed upon for a fundraising project aiming to buy a large chunk of Langholm Moor.
The Langholm Initiative is trying to raise £2.2 million to purchase another 5300 acres of land from Buccleuch Estates in order to double the size of the Tarras Valley nature reserve.
Established last year, the previous £3.8 million raised to buy the first chunk of the moor marked the first stage of South Scotland’s biggest community land buyout.
And now the charity wishes to buy another chunk next to the first and add on to the nature reserve, but are struggling to amass the funds and have been granted a deadline extension until July 31 before the sale of the land becomes open-market.
Benny Higgins, executive chairman at Buccleuch, said: “We’re pleased to be able to extend the timescale for the Langholm Initiative to raise the funds necessary to make this second-phase community buyout a reality.
“We have worked closely with The Langholm Initiative in recent years and have been impressed by their tenacity, vision, and cooperation to bring their plans to fruition. We hope this additional time will help them in their quest to double the size of Tarras Valley Nature Reserve and build on the success achieved so far.”
Leading charities backing the buyout include Borders Forest Trust, John Muir Trust, Rewilding Britain, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Trees for Life, and the Woodland Trust.
Local MSP Colin Smyth said: “The Initiative managed to raise an amazing £3.8m to successfully buy 5200 acres and the team has exciting plans for the future of the moor.
“Langholm Initiative really hit the road running with their ambitions to realise the massive potential the reserve has. The last two years have been tough for everyone but one of the local lights at the end of the tunnel has been the drive by Langholm Initiative to take forward plans for the nature reserve.
“I hope a deal can be done to bring the whole target site under the ownership of the community. The second part is more remote and would open up even more opportunities.”
The Langholm Moor buyout’s public crowdfunder has almost reached its initial target of raising at least £150,000 towards the £2.2m needed. It can be supported at bit.ly/LangholmMoorAppeal.