Press Release…The opportunity of a lifetime for Newcastleton – the Langholm Moor community buy out
The momentous decision by Buccleuch to sell off Langholm Moor has created one of the biggest opportunities and challenges for Newcastleton and those living in the Liddesdale valley in our history. We passionately believe in our heritage and landscape; it has served us for generations, and we will work hard for ensure that it continues to serve us for the generations to come.
Following the decision by the estate to sell off 25,000 acres, it is now confirmed that two community groups, including Newcastleton, have expressed an interest in acquiring part or all the land. As a result, Buccleuch have granted them an extension until the end of March 2020, to allow enough time for a successful bid to reach legal closure.
Newcastleton & District Community Trust welcomes the decision by the estate to provide the additional time needed to explore the opportunity of securing the land. The Trust will use this time to thoroughly investigate every avenue open to it, to try to ensure that it can stay in local ownership. We will work tirelessly to secure all, or part of the land and we will achieve this by working collaboratively with our neighbours and other communities.
But this goes way beyond a land deal for the community in Newcastleton, local people see this as a huge opportunity to secure their own ‘Holm Hill’ for the benefit of future generations. This is very much Newcastleton’s side of the Langholm Moor, a place with hundreds of years history and a place that villagers see, live and work on every day, quite simply it is part of the make-up of Newcastleton.
Barbara Elborn, Secretary of Newcastleton & District Community Trust, said today:
“Since May 30th our community has come together to respond to the decision by Buccleuch to sell the ‘Holm Hill’. We welcome Buccleuch’s announcement and that efforts locally have been heard, and we thank the estate for giving us the time to explore the opportunity of securing the land for community benefit. The South of Scotland has lagged well behind other parts of Scotland in acquiring land for its communities, this is now our time.
The challenge this present us is huge but Newcastleton & District Community Trust, the wider community and our neighbours, will do our utmost to ensure that the time granted to us is used to explore the opportunity this affords us as a community.
Newcastleton is a small, rural community, we number just 762 people, including our neighbours in Upper Liddesdale this swells to 920. Small we might be, but we have faced many challenges in our long history before and this is another one. Whilst this might not be a situation that we had ever envisaged, it does create one of the most exciting opportunities in living memory, the challenge will be immense but it is a challenge that our whole community is up for and we look forward to working with our neighbours to pull this off.
We thank all those who have given us support so far, we will undoubtedly need your continued help over the coming months.”
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Barbara Elborn BEM, Secretary
Newcastleton & District Community Trust
4 South Hermitage Street
T: 013873 75642 or 07989 968 756
Since the community was formed in 1793, villagers have tried without success to increase their land holding to make better livelihoods for themselves. From the late 1890s, when the 99-year leases expired representations were made to Parliament on the village’s behalf to protect our rights. This was largely ignored and repeatedly refused, so we stopped asking. We are delighted today our voices have finally been heard and we now have that opportunity.
The Holm Hill is where our forefathers took their livestock to graze and roam daily. It is where our fathers and forebearers cut the peat for fires. It is something we look at every day, it has been a part of us since we built our village for Buccleuch back in 1793 on old farms called Copshaw Holm and Copshaw Park.