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Parliament praise for moor buyout

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Parliament praise for moor buyout

PRAISE has been given in the Scottish Parliament to the Langholm Initiative for completing the biggest ever community land buyout in southern Scotland.

The Initiative bought more than 5200 acres of moorland from Buccleuch last year for £3.8m and has now taken ownership of more land of similar scale after raising £2.2m.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth raised their achievements at Holyrood, during a debate on forestry.

He said: “It is essential that we do more to ensure that future cultivation and tree planting is carried out carefully in the right soils, using the right methods, or we will fail to maximise our carbon storage from forestry.

“There are many examples of excellent projects doing just that, such as the Tarras valley nature reserve in the Eskdale valley, where the community raised an astonishing £6 million to fund a community buyout of 10,000 acres of Langholm moor.

“The community’s vision and plans for the moor are truly inspiring and include action to play its part in tackling the nature and climate crises through peatland restoration.”

Afterwards, he added: “The total buy-out is a truly outstanding achievement by the team behind the bid and fantastic for the Eskdale community. This is the South of Scotland’s largest ever buyout and the community of Langholm really are history makers.

“We cannot underestimate the positive impact this has on the local economy through eco-tourism and the boost it gives to the local environment through better protection and enhancement of a site of special scientific interest.”

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