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Our Work

The Tarras Valley Nature Reserve is in community hands in perpetuity, this means it is a ‘forever’ project.

Community land ownership is about creating something better to hand onto future generations. By fostering a strong sense of ownership and connection with the land, we can leave behind a legacy that is rich in nature, cultural heritage, and economic opportunities.

Langholm Map

Scotland is one of the most nature depleted countries on earth, with a concentrated pattern of land ownership meaning only 3% of land is currently within community ownership and in many rural areas like Langholm, there is a lack of economic opportunities for young people.   

 We know we can’t solve these issues as a small community development trust, but we recognise that a community- led approach through land ownership is a powerful tool to make an active contribution at a local level. It is a means to shape our own future to respond to local needs and aspirations, and most importantly it helps to put the power back into local hands. 

We are at the very start of our journey following our historic community land buy-outs and we’re all learning together about how the community become sustainable custodians of this very special landscape for many generations to come. Through what we do here we want to help inspire others and act as a real example of the true impact that communities can make towards the issues we face as a society.  

Laying the Foundations

We have 4 key objectives which underpin our work to develop the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve:


Empowering and reconnecting people with land and nature through a community led approach.


Large scale ecosystem restoration, restoring degraded and lost habitats across the Tarras Valley.


Making a meaningful contribution to the climate and ecological emergencies.


Balancing people, planet and profit to ensure a rich legacy is created for future generations to benefit.

Our community-led approach

As a community owned asset, it is important that local voices are truly heard and valued as we take forward and develop plans for the Tarras Valley. We want people have a greater influence in decisions that affect them and have a way to actively shape what happens with the land. Our work will mean that people have opportunities to come together and connect through our land whether that’s with our volunteering sessions, community events, workshops, coming on holiday here or just on the dog walk through the woods!  

Community engagement and participation is a core work element for the Langholm Initiative to ensure we reflect the needs and aspirations of the community in what we do next. This activity will never stop, how we do this might change and adapt as we move through different stages but it will be always embedded into everything we do. There is no exact right way to do this, but the key part is that we are transparent and encourage ongoing open discussion and involvement throughout anything we do.

Be part of something incredible!

We couldn’t have achieved everything we have so far without your help! You can continue supporting us by donating, volunteering, sharing our message or following our progress.