- Advertisement -
Thursday, 3 December 2020

CHARITY TODAY AWARDS

£500,000 donation keeps race-against-time community buyout bid alive

- Advertisement -

One of Scotland’s largest community buyouts that have appeared at risk in recent weeks has received a major boost thanks to a £0.5 million pledge from the Dunblane-based Carman Family Foundation.

The community of the small town of Langholm in Dumfries and Galloway aims to buy 10,500 acres of Langholm Moor – jointly valued at £6 million – from Buccleuch’s Borders Estate.

The project – led by the Langholm Initiative charity, and likely to be Scotland’s biggest community buyout in land value to date – would see a vast nature reserve created on the culturally important land, to tackle climate breakdown, boost nature restoration and support community regeneration.

But the community has been facing a race against time after the Scottish Land Fund recently awarded the Langholm Initiative £1 million, a third of the amount applied for, on condition the purchase is completed by October 31 – leaving the community just weeks to raise the remaining £5 million.

“The Carman Family Foundation’s tremendous £500,000 support for the Langholm Moor Community Buyout is a major boost, and couldn’t have come at a better time. It really keeps the project on track. This kind of support makes all the difference, and we’re hugely grateful,” said Margaret Pool, chair of the Langholm Initiative.

Bill Carman, Trustee of the Carman Family Foundation, said:

“We’re delighted to be helping bring this special area into the ownership of people who take biodiversity – both flora and fauna – seriously. Langholm Moor deserves to be protected and enhanced because it is crucial that we all help the natural environment stabilise and re-establish, but also because it will act as an excellent example of how humans can work together in selfless communities. We think it is really important that the buyout succeeds, and would urge all who read this to contribute as much as they can.”

Creation of the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve would see globally important peatlands and ancient woods restored, native woodlands planted and regenerated along river valleys, and open moorland protected for ground-nesting birds. The land is a haven for wildlife including merlins, black grouse and short-eared owls, and a stronghold for hen harriers – the UK’s most persecuted bird of prey.

Public donations for the buyout have now reached £200,000, including through a crowdfunding appeal at gofundme.com/langholm-moor-buyout. This year’s Hen Harrier Day – held online on 8 August, and hosted by television presenters Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin – raised around £10,000 towards the purchase. The John Muir Trust has donated £100,000.

The Langholm Initiative is also working with the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency. The charity is seeking other major funders and is urging people who can help to get in touch.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received, including the kind donations to our crowdfunding from some 2,000 people so far. We’re going to exhaust every opportunity to seize this once-in-a-lifetime chance for the people of Langholm and for tackling the climate and nature crises,” said Kevin Cumming, the Langholm Initiative’s Project Leader.

The Langholm Initiative is asking the Scottish Land Fund to extend its October deadline. Benny Higgins, Executive Chairman of Buccleuch, has also written to the Scottish Land Fund to express Buccleuch’s support for an extension, which would increase the prospects of a successful and workable outcome in the community buyout discussions.

The buyout project is supported by leading charities including Borders Forest Trust, John Muir Trust, Rewilding Britain, RSPB Scotland, Trees for Life, and The Woodland Trust.

Langholm, nestled in the beautiful and dramatic Southern Uplands, has a rich history and culture. It is the birthplace of legendary poet Hugh McDiarmid and is famous for its annual Common Riding festival. The once-thriving textile centre has seen this industry decline in recent years. The people of the town have a deep connection to the land, which has never been sold before.

The Langholm Initiative was formed in 1994, as one of South Scotland’s earliest development trusts. It facilitates projects that make a lasting difference to the local area and local people.

The Carman Family Foundation was set up to assist with projects that both enhance biodiversity and encourage people to gain knowledge and enjoyment from the newly enhanced land.

To find out more and to support the crowdfunding appeal, visit langholminitiative.org.uk.

Sign up to receive full FREE access to charity news and special sector offers.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected

1,381FansLike
1,834FollowersFollow
30,327FollowersFollow
1,200SubscribersSubscribe

Must Read

Dementia UK Launches ‘Only together’ campaign

'Only together,' the charity's first-ever influencing campaign, highlights the low level of specialist support currently available to families affected by dementia, and how access to quality care could...

Charities busy preparing for launch of UK Charity Week

UK Charity Week is fast approaching - and people, businesses, charities and organisations from all over the UK are being encouraged to get involved...

Employment News

COO Jerry Robinson to move on from leading youth charity YHA

YHA’s Chief Operating Officer Jerry Robinson has announced he is to step down from YHA (England & Wales) at the end of the year,...

New chair of national youth charity OnSide Youth Zones

YOUTH charity OnSide Youth Zones has appointed tech entrepreneur Charles Mindenhall as Chair of its board of Trustees. Since it was founded in 2008, OnSide...

Four new Trustees join Dame Kelly Holmes Trust Board

DAME Kelly Holmes Trust has announced the appointment of four additional Trustees who joined the Board on 20th November 2020. Catherine Baker, Helen Donovan, Martin...

Related News

Nim Design: Opening the door for charities to unlock brand potential

NIM design is a graphic design agency based in London. They specialise in annual reports, infographics, print and digital publications, collaborating with global and...

Charity web design specialists Fat Beehive Ltd Certifies as a B Corporation

THE charity web design specialists Fat Beehive Ltd has announced its certification as a B Corporation (or B Corp), joining a growing group of...

NHS nurses raise thousands for their patients

As if treating ill children wasn’t enough – a group of NHS nurses are going above and beyond to raise thousands of pounds for...

Great Britain wheelchair basketball star, Sophie Carrigill becomes patron

SHEFFIELD-based Sophie Carrigill, the Great Britain wheelchair basketball co-captain at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has today, on the UN International Day of People with...

VIDEO | UK Charity Week makes Embrace’s single its campaign theme tune

A charity single, written in lockdown to raise money for Embrace Child Victims of Crime, has been adopted by UK Charity Week 2020 as...
- Advertisement -
X