Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, said: “Our Trustees are delighted to pledge support as they recognise the important environmental value of this land, and they were also impressed with the 'never give up' attitude of the community and those involved in the project. We hope others are inspired to help at this crucial final stage.”
After the Scottish Land Fund awarded the project £1 million in June – hugely welcome but a third of the amount requested, and with the condition the purchase be completed by 31 October – the buyout appeared at serious risk. The community was left with weeks to raise the remaining millions.
Although the Land Fund has now changed its condition from a purchase being fully completed to all necessary funds for a purchase being raised, the Fund's 31 October deadline remains.
But the buyout has continued to receive wide support due to its vision of tackling climate change, restoring nature, and supporting community regeneration by bringing jobs and visitors to the area.
In August, the Dunblane-based Carman Family Foundation pledged £500,000, and in early September, the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency announced up to £1 million financial support.
The public crowdfunding appeal at gofundme.com/langholm-moor-buyout has now passed the £130,000 mark, with donations made by some 2,500 people from around the world. Another £80,000 of direct public donations has been made, and the John Muir Trust has donated £100,000.
The buyout is supported by leading charities including the John Muir Trust, Borders Forest Trust, Rewilding Britain, RSPB Scotland, Trees for Life, and The Woodland Trust.
Buccleuch Estates announced its decision to sell some 25,000 acres of its Borders Estate last year. The landowner has not set a hard deadline for the buyout, and is working with the community to achieve a positive outcome.
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.
To find out more and to support the crowdfunding appeal, visit langholminitiative.org.uk.