Key wildlife site in Scotland bought by conservationists

Langholm Moor
Langholm Moor

Langholm Moor. Photo: Tom Hutton (believed)

Background

Langholm Moor in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, has been in dispute between conservationists and the shooting lobby for decades. The arguments were over the hen harrier, a bird of prey that feeds on red grouse, a bird which is shot for entertainment by shooters. It is called “driven grouse shooting”, a field sport in the United Kingdom. The argument has been settled.

Hen harrier

Hen harrier. Photo in public domain.

Purchase of Langholm Moor

The Langham Initiative, chaired by Margaret Pool, raised £3.8 million to buy the 5,400 acre Langholm Moor from the Duke of Buccleuch, formerly Scotland’s largest landowner. The purchase will lead to the creation of the Tarras Valley nature reserve. Inside the reserve there will be peatland, ancient and native woodland which will be preserved.

They raised large sums of money from various sources including £500,000 from the Bently Foundation in California and more than £50,000 from the public and £200,000 from the Woodland Trust.

Margaret Pool said that the reserve will be self-sufficient in capitalising on eco-tourism and through an education centre. This is a community purchase and apparently purchases such as this have occasionally struggled in the past to become self-sufficient as they been propped up by millions of pounds in public money. Margaret Pool insists that it will be financially sustainable.

RSPB

Duncan Orr-Ewing of RSPB Scotland said that it was a superb achievement to secure such a “key wildlife site”.