Private donations and crowd-funding will be essential to success
AT LEAST £3.5m will have to be raised in the community through private donations and crowd-funding to buy Langholm Moor from Buccleuch, it has been revealed.
The Langholm Initiative’s community buy-out working group, in a booklet distributed to homes over the past week, says it’s bidding to buy a preferred area of 10,438.90 acres but the other option is to buy 5,205.74 acres.
Covered in the booklet are the Tallas Valley Nature Reserve, hen harrier protection, peatland restoration, ancient woodland regeneration, Tarras Water,
native woodland creation, Lodgegill Field Centre, Cooms Farm – conservation grazing, Broomholmshiels Farm, renewable energy, rural regeneration and tourism, Langholm and The Land, partnership working and the big picture.
In the first five years there are plans to create a new nature
reserve and seek to be awarded National Nature Reserve status.
Langholm is a stronghold for the hen harrier, the most persecuted bird of prey in the UK and the project will protect and increase their numbers.
Restoring peatland will help fight climate change and increase biodiversity.
Peatlands are one of the UK’s most important natural assets. Healthy peatland acts as a carbon sink, while damaged peatlands drained for agriculture and forestry release carbon dioxide.
Natural woodland regeneration has already started along the Tarras Water.
Woodland will be allowed to recover, creating a more wild landscape and reducing riverbank erosion, downstream flooding and providing spawning grounds for fish.
Community ownership will allow picnic areas, footpaths, hides and parking to be
There are nearly 500 acres
between a conifer plantation and the Site of Special Scientific Interest which would be planted with native trees.
The derelict property at Lodgegill has potential as a field centre and bunkhouse for research, volunteering and walking.
The buy-out will include Cooms Farm and in the first five years and after clarification has been received on how agriculture has been affected by Brexit, an agricultural system maximising conservation benefits will be introduced.
Grazing on the moor could be managed to best achieve conservation goals.
Broomholmshiels Farm is ideal for conversion into offices or housing and an environmentally sustainable campsite, creating job opportunities.
The booklet also covers
nature-based tourism and the Wild Eskdale eco-tourism project has already shown there is potential for responsible and sustainable outdoor tourism.
The cultural importance of the Common Moss is huge for the townspeople and its annual Common Riding. The buy-out will secure its ownership for future generations.
There is a separate section on the website about a renewable energy project which recommends solar and wind energy.
This would comprise a single wind turbine on Tarrasfoot Hill and a solar array at one site in the Glentarras area.