Langholm Initiative’s latest land buy out should be a “shining example” for other communities across Scotland who want to move into community ownership, according to South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.
The local MSP has also congratulated Langholm Initiative for meeting their second land buy out fundraising target.
Following a successful community fundraising campaign, the Initiative has reached an agreement with Buccleuch Estates to buy a further 5,300 acres and three properties after raising £2.2m.
Last year, the group completed a £3.8m deal with Buccleuch last year for more than 5,000 acres in the area.
This latest buy out will double the size of the nature reserve.
Colin Smyth said: “I would like to say a massive congratulations to Langholm Initiative for successfully meeting their target and once again making history in the south of Scotland.
“The Initiative has exciting plans for the moor, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
“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.
“The first buy-out was a truly outstanding achievement by the team behind the bid and fantastic for the Eskdale community. This was the South of Scotland’s largest ever buyout and the community of Langholm really are history makers. But we can and should go further.
“The work of Langholm Initiative is a shining example for communities across Scotland.
“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.
“The second part of the moor is more remote and will open up even more opportunities.
“Too much of our land is still in the hands of far too few but thanks to this deal, we have made a small step in the direction of righting that wrong and I’m really excited by the aim to go even further.”