LONG LANDS COMMUNITY SHARE OFFER

by Long Lands Common in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Total raised £59,687

£300,000 stretch target 67 days left
198% 444 investors
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 30th September 2024 at 4:29pm

Raise £300,000 to create Knaresborough Forest Park - a new community owned green space for nature recovery between Harrogate & Knaresborough

by Long Lands Common in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Our initial target was £30,000, which allows us to save some of the Knaresborough Forest Park land - but we'll need £300,000 to save all of it!


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A group of volunteers, planting trees on Long Lands Common

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WHO ARE WE?

We are Long Lands Common Ltd Community Benefit Society - a collective of local people working together to bring greenbelt land between Harrogate and Knaresborough  into community ownership, to create new public green spaces that enhance biodiversity and preserve and protect the greenbelt for future generations.

Our current land projects are Long Lands Common, Long Lands Community Food Forest, and Knaresborough Forest Park - a total of approximately 90 acres. 

Collectively, we call our groups the Long Lands Community.  

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Until this year the Long Lands Community had 30 acres of land in common ownership - Long Lands Common - our community woodland nature reserve bought in 2021 with the proceeds of our 2020 Community Shares offer that raised £400,000. 

 In July 2024 - with the aid of a £410,000 grant from the George A Moore Foundation, additional donations of £100,000 and a £300,000 philanthropic loan from We Have The Power - we are purchasing 60 more acres  of greenbelt land to create Knaresborough Forest Park and the Long Lands Community Food Forest. 

Currently we require £300,000 in community shares sales to pay off our loan from We Have The Power as soon as possible, to prevent us being forced to sell some of the new land in order to pay off the loan. 

The land could then potentially be purchased by developers or other buyers with less interest in protecting our natural world, putting the bio-diversity of this precious area, next to the Nidd Gorge, at risk. 

Do you want to help us to keep all of our land in the common ownership of the community and maintained for the future as public green space and a greenbelt wildlife corridor? 

If so, please support us to pay back the loan as soon as possible by buying shares and sharing this campaign with others. 

We have set our first fundraising target at £30,000, which will allow us to keep at least some of the land in common ownership, but our full "stretch" target to save all the land is £300,000. 

We hope you feel able to join in, and protect Knaresborough Forest Park!

Thank you!

For further information our community share brochure document can be downloaded here.

For more information about how the Crowdfunder process works, read this document.


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Long Lands Common in 2020

1720429291_20240707_200404.jpgLong Lands Common in 2024

WHAT IS LONG LANDS COMMON?

Long Lands Common is the first ever community owned woodlands project for Harrogate and Knaresborough, established in 2021 on farmland that was previously threatened by the  building of a major road through the greenbelt. The transformation from farmland to nature reserve, with the implementation of a woodland creation plan and grant funding, is well underway. 

With the help of our regular volunteers and grants from the White Rose Forest, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and DEFRA,  we have already created a mosaic of habitats by planting trees, creating new hedgerows and woodland, digging 3 new ponds and sowing a wildflower meadow.  

Long Lands Common borders the Nidderdale Greenway between Bilton and Starbeck in the west and extends eastwards towards Knaresborough .

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The first Long Lands trees being planted in 2021

WHAT IS LONG LANDS COMMUNITY FOOD FOREST?

Long Lands Community Food Forest is a concept, developed by a group of Longlanders, to create a site for growing food on one of our new fields bordering Bilton Hall Drive - using forest gardening, traditional horticulture and permaculture design practices to develop community participation in food production and enhance the resilience of our local food supply and economy. 

If our other areas could be considered to have a 70/30 bias in favour of nature, our Food Forest can be seen as 70/30 in favour of humans - community volunteering, public education, and preservation of heritage food varieties, that's the aim.

WHAT IS KNARESBOROUGH FOREST PARK?

Knaresborough Forest Park is the latest project of the the Long Lands Community  - a large community-owned wood meadow and public green space that extends the wildlife corridor eastwards, from the fields bordering Long Lands Common all the way to Conyngham Hall in Knaresborough. It also runs alongside the popular Beryl Burton Way public path between Bilton and Knaresborough.

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Long Lands Community Food Forest (left) and Knaresborough Forest Park (right).

1715250858_kfp-2.jpgKnaresborough Forest Park land 2024

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

At a time of great concern for the future of the planet, when our actions are threatening the existence of ourselves and other species, when green fields all around us are being bought for development, we are giving the community the chance to take back real control, take power into their own hands and collectively own a large swathe of the greenbelt, creating a continuous, protected wildlife corridor between Harrogate and Knaresborough - to preserve and enhance for wildlife, ourselves, and leave as a legacy for future generations.

We want to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

The purchase of our new land was only made possible by the huge generosity of two bodies: a grant from the George A. Moore Foundation, an organisation closely associated with Knaresborough, the birthplace of George Moore, and a loan from We Have The Power, a philanthropic organisation which allows charities and community groups to buy land and subsequently repay the loan through traditional share schemes, grant applications and fundraising. We Have The Power asks borrowers to pay back the loan as soon as possible so that they can recycle the funds and empower other communities to buy land for rewilding, nature restoration or community food growing.

1715178911_screenshot_2024-05-08_at_15.10.00.jpgKnaresborough Forest Park with views of Knaresborough in background

HOW WILL WE DO THIS?

This share offer is intended to help sustain the Long Lands Community for generations to come, with an immediate focus on raising the funds to repay our outstanding loan, and with a longer term view of ensuring we have sufficient funds on hand to steward our land for decades. Together we can manage Long Lands Common, Long Lands Community Food Forest, and Knaresborough Forest Park for nature recovery, wellbeing, and learning.

Our aim is to continue to re-wild the majority of the new land and regenerate it naturally into a beautiful, tree-rich wood meadow , a protected haven for wildlife as a place for well-being and education and to enhance our understanding and appreciation of the natural world. 

The project will also include community food growing and coppicing. This vision will take a number of years to realise and mature; volunteers will play a vital role in developing and maintaining our land. 

We will:

  • Contribute to community resilience needed to respond effectively to the real threat of climate change by providing a wildlife reserve and common space where people come together to manage the land, organise and collaborate.
  • Provide an education space and training opportunities for the community to learn land-based skills and crafts that will contribute to community resilience and a re-localisation of the economy.
  • Research other sources of funding such as Biodiversity Net Gain, Countryside Stewardship, Environmental Land Management Schemes and Carbon Credits.
  • Continue to encourage significant community and shareholder involvement in the voluntary work needed to establish the sites.
  • Host educational, creative, celebratory and fundraising events.
  • Host workshops and courses for fee-paying customers to teach land-based skills.
  • Sell land products (such as willow) from the KFP site. 
  • Seek sponsorship for infrastructure projects from local businesses and organisations including philanthropic and statutory bodies.

Your investment is not intended to provide any return on capital; it is instead aimed at helping preserve the natural habitat in the community for the generations to come. Investment buys a stake in the land, and also gives you a voice to help guide our plans for it. LLC Ltd will use your capital to invest in protection and maintenance of the land, so we won’t generally be in a position to offer share withdrawal unless in exceptional circumstances.

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WHY WE NEED YOU!

We cannot afford to keep all of our land without your support. We have been massively encouraged by the response so far from our supporters. However, we need to continue our fundraising to pay off our loan and fund more development of our land.

We are just one project in a worldwide grassroots movement to respond to the biodiversity and climate crises. We will be promoting this locally, but the benefits will be experienced far and wide. Please purchase shares or donate if you can and share our campaign as widely as you can. 

Share purchases in Long Lands Common Limited are not intended to provide a cash return on investment - they will be used to protect and preserve our Greenbelt for future generations.

THANK YOU

1715250983_castle.jpgView of Knaresborough Castle from Knaresborough Forest Park

Note: The Crowdfunder platform we are using to sell shares suggests a 10% "tip" to Crowdfunder by default, but you can set it down to 0% if you wish - LLC/KFP does not get any of that "tip".  Adding (or leaving out) a "tip" for Crowdfunder is your personal choice as a supporter of the Long Lands Community.

Julia Davies of We Have The Power

"Julia is an environmental campaigner, lawer, philanthropist, and true impact advisor who uses her personal funds to enable charitable projects (including land acquisitions for nature restoration) to progress. Julia is kindly supporting our acquisition but on the understanding that we do all we can to pay back any loan she does provide as a priority. We can't progress work on the site until the loan is repaid. Equally Julia can't support the many projects which contact her regularly, until her commitment to this project is substantially reduced"

What will we do if we go above £300,000?

Enriching Biodiversity: With surplus funds, we can allocate resources towards enriching the biodiversity of all three sites owned by LLC - Knaresborough Forest Park, Long Lands Community Food Forest, and Long Lands Common. By investing in native plantings, habitat restoration, and wildlife conservation initiatives, we can create a more vibrant and resilient ecosystem within the existing boundaries of the land. These efforts will not only benefit local flora and fauna but also enhance the overall beauty and ecological value of the space.

Enhancing Amenities: Exceeding our fundraising expectations enables us to enhance the infrastructure within all LLC-owned land, and ensure that the area becomes a cherished destination for families, nature enthusiasts, and community members alike.

Expanding Educational Opportunities: With additional funding, we can expand the educational outreach initiatives of the LLC community. By hosting workshops and educational events, we can provide valuable learning experiences for visitors of all ages. These educational efforts will foster a deeper appreciation for nature and inspire future generations to become stewards of the environment.

Investing in Sustainability: Exceeding our fundraising target allows us to invest in sustainable practices and initiatives that will ensure the long-term health and viability of the Long Lands Common Community Benefit Society. From implementing green infrastructure projects to adopting eco-friendly management practices, we can minimise our environmental footprint and preserve the land for decades to come.

Community Engagement and Outreach: With surplus funds, we can intensify our efforts to engage and involve the community in the stewardship of our Community Benefit Society. By organising volunteer workdays, hosting community events, and encouraging input from local residents, we can foster a sense of ownership and pride in the land. These community-driven initiatives will strengthen bonds, build connections, and ensure that all the property owned by the Society truly belongs to the community.

Levels of Investment

£50 or more

£50 or or more - I am an existing Member

£50 or more of Shares in Long Lands Common Limited. The minimum amount is £50, but please feel free to purchase more, and help save the Greenbelt between Harrogate and Knaresbourgh!

£50 or more

£50 or or more - I am not an existing Member

This is for people who are not already members of Long Lands Common.

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