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Why I Volunteer My Time For Long Lands Common

Written by on August 21, 2020

Andy, the admin of the station’s site, has given a few of the other admin and a few of the hosts the ability to blog here, on the station’s site. So, in this Blog post I hope to tell you about another community initiative that I, Allan, am involved with. It is called Long Lands Common.

I am one of the admin of Harrogate Community Radio – I work with Andy & Scooby getting the shows out to to you and ready for broadcast. I am also on the board of Long Lands Common.

We are so excited to announce that the first ever community owned woodlands project for Harrogate and Knaresborough is underway! As Nidd Gorge Community Action we have secured initial funding and received professional advice to establish a Community Benefit Society (Long Lands Common Limited) and draw up a Community Shares offer.

We are now ready to empower individuals, families, schools, community groups and businesses to make history and join forces to purchase land through a share scheme, so that all ages can enjoy working together whilst reaping the many special benefits, for people and the environment, that a community owned woodland will bestow.

Between 2016 and 2019 the founder members of Long Lands Common spent much of their time campaigning against the proposed Inner Northern Relief Road. Myself included.

Had it been built, the road would have ruined the peace and tranquillity in Nidd Gorge, destroyed the fantastic biodiversity hotspot of Bilton Fields and weakened the protection offered to Harrogate & Knaresborough by the Green Belt.

This was the third time since 1986 that local communities have had to campaign to defend Nidd Gorge and the Green Belt against the same road. Every decade, it seems, the road idea resurfaces and threatens to overwhelm our towns with development and the destruction of nature. By taking control of this land and returning it to a commons, in perpetuity, the community can send an overwhelming message to the politicians and developers that this land belongs to us all – people, wildlife and future generations – forever.

So, now there is a chance to chip in and secure the future of the green belt for yourselves and your descendants. Uptake has been good and we are marching on towards our target. We could do with all of the help we can get, financially and otherwise.

We have set up a system where you can buy shares in the Common. Shares are priced at £1 a share and then you can buy them in lots of fifty. To find out how to get your own part of Harrogate, head to the website we have had built for the organisation and have a look around – our website is www.longlandscommon.org ~ Thanks for reading, Allan.

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