Tarras Valley volunteers reclaiming the pheasant-rearing woods from Langholm Moor

In 2020 the community of Langholm in the Scottish Borders successfully raised £3.8 million to buy a knackered old grouse moor from the Duke of Buccleugh and transform it into a vast new nature reserve for the benefit of wildlife and the local community (see here).

Many blog readers supported and contributed to this fundraising challenge (thank you) and helped create what is now called the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve.

Kudos to the volunteers who have been busy in recent weeks clearing old fences, netting and feeding barrels from the woods which were formerly used for pheasant-rearing/shooting.

These photos of their efforts were posted on social media yesterday:

In November 2021 the community began fundraising once again, to ‘finish what we started’, and has launched stage two of the biggest community buyout scheme in south Scotland to buy the remainder of Langholm Moor which would effectively double the size of the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve.

If you’d like to make a contribution to help support this impressive lot, please visit their crowdfunder here.

Thank you.

8 thoughts on “Tarras Valley volunteers reclaiming the pheasant-rearing woods from Langholm Moor”

  1. The plantation fits the typical dark sterile hole where keepers usually rear their poults, I attended a mini conference run by GWCT once where they whined a lot about buzzards and tried to convince us conservationists of some value from game rearing but even the three sites they took us to as ‘good’ examples didn’t comply with their own guidance on structure and lacked adequate non-lethal deterrents for avian predators.

    Every pheasant pen destroyed is a victory for biodiversity, well done to the Tarras Valley Volunteers and hopefully the acquisition of more land will be successful.

    1. I find it astonishing that any lethal control is allowed of Buzzards to protect poults in pens: roof it with chicken wire. It isn’t rocket science or expensive.

      1. leaving the debate about shooting to one side , the pens are used as soft release the birds need to be able to roost in the trees and netting is not an option or even remotly practical unless you think netting over mature trees is ? that would not be acceptable for other wildlife esp nesting birds so impossiable

  2. I don’t know if Langholms grouse butts were the drystone built type, but if so it’s nice to think that they will be inhabited by the correct type of reptiles from now on – common lizards, slow-worms and adders.

  3. So, the self-proclaimed “Guardians of the Countryside” managed to leave all of that plastic, netting, and fencing, all of which could a very serious problem to native wildlife, without bothering to clean up after themselves!

    Why does that not surprise me!

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