Land buyout bid continues to take shape

Mapped out - showing the buyout area are  Anjo Abelaira, vice chair of Wanlockhead  Trust; Claudia Beamish, MSP, Lincoln Richford, chair of the trust,  Richard Heggie, Founding Director of Urban Animation.
Mapped out - showing the buyout area are Anjo Abelaira, vice chair of Wanlockhead Trust; Claudia Beamish, MSP, Lincoln Richford, chair of the trust, Richard Heggie, Founding Director of Urban Animation.

Plans for a community buyout of land around Wanlockhead took another step forward this month, thanks to a public meeting to involve villagers in a feasibility study currently being drafted.

More than 40 people turned out to put their views on potential projects for tourism develop and management of the land if a buyout were to go ahead.

The public meeting was organised by the Wanlockhead Community Trust in co-operation with Urban Animation, the consultant it has employed to undertake the study.

The Scottish Land Fund awarded the trust £25,000 earlier this year to look into the feasibility of buying 14,600 acres of land at Wanlockhead owned by the 10th Duke of Buccleuch, Richard Scott.

The land includes part of the Southern Upland Way, a ski slope, a museum of lead mining and the Wanlockhead Inn, the highest pub in Scotland.

With outdoor activities on offer such as hillwalking, mountain biking and gold-panning, members of the community believe much more could be made of the land in attracting tourists and developing local businesses.

The proposed buyout is one of the biggest planned in Southern Scotland.

Further meetings will take place once the consultants have produced a draft study.