A CELEBRITY endorsement from a former resident has boosted the campaign to buy Langholm Moor from landowner Buccleuch.
Gregor Fisher, best known as Rab C Nesbitt, made a video for the Langholm Moor community buy-out group, urging people to “give them a hand”.
The Langholm Initiative has so far raised £2.8m of the £6.4m asking price.
In the video on Facebook, Gregor says: “I’m asking you to join me in helping the small community of Langholm achieve their dream of creating a vast new nature reserve in southern Scotland through a community buy-out of Langholm Moor.
“I lived in the town for a number of years and my family grew up there.
“I know how much the moor means to local folk, with all its historical and cultural associations, in particular, its annual Common Riding celebration, an event they say is “better felt than telt”.
“The moor is home to wonderful and spectacular wildlife; it’s an inspiration to naturalists, environmentalists and conservationists and is a Special Protection Area and Site of Special Scientific Interest.
“After the Duke of Buccleuch, the hereditary owner of the land, announced his intention to sell, a local charity, the Langholm Initiative, stepped up on behalf of the community to buy the 10,500 acres under its stewardship.
“Apart from the nature reserve, their plans include environmental restoration and enhancement; restoring peatlands and planting native trees to capture carbon and counteract climate change.
“Just think; a whole valley dedicated to putting nature first. Let’s give them a hand.
“The target is £6.4m. Help them fill that gap. Please, go to the Go Fund Me page at www.gofundme/f/langholm-moor-buyout and pledge what you can now.”
Joan McAlpine, South Scotland MSP, welcomed news that the Initiative had received £1m from South of Scotland Enterprise SOSE).
She had written to SOSE in June asking whether it would support the project.
She said: “This is a valuable project which seeks to bring 10,500 acres of important land into public ownership to create the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve, enabling the preservation and restoration of a natural habitat for wildlife and birds.
“The reserve will deliver educational and tourism benefits and help create jobs.
“There are many potential commercial opportunities which will enable the project to sustain itself.”