Scotland’s highest village votes for community buyout

The trust said a vote in favour ensures 'future decisions made on the land will be decided by the community'.

Scotland’s highest village votes for community buyout
Wanlockhead Village: Highest in Scotland.

Residents of the highest village in Scotland have voted in favour of a community buyout.

The ballot on a takeover of 3863 acres of land around Wanlockhead Village in Dumfries and Galloway, took place on Thursday.

A total of 56% of those who took part voted to takeover the land currently owned by the Buccleuch organisation, which represents the business interest of the Buccleuch family, including the Duke of Buccleuch.

On a turnout of 80%, 69 voted for and 55 against plans.

All residents over 18 were eligible, including holiday home owners who are on the electoral register in the area.

The trust said a vote in favour of the buyout ensures “future decisions made on the land will be decided by the community”.

It added: “We, the residents of Wanlockhead, will be able to elect and decide democratically what we want to keep and improve in the village.”

Trust treasurer David Tkocz said: “It is an amazing opportunity for the village now and for the whole community.

“We’ve got some young families in the village and they are very excited. We are very happy with that.”

He believes the land valuation is nearing completion and the next step for the trust is to work with the Scottish Land Fund on a funding application.

A spokesperson for Buccleuch said: “The community ballot is an important step in the process of obtaining approval and funding from the Scottish Land Fund.

“Following the result of the vote, where a majority of the community (as outlined by WCT) voted in favour of the community purchase, we will continue our dialogue with the Wanlockhead Community Trust, which has been constructive throughout.”