A Moray community is set to purchase as much as 150acres of land that has been in estate ownership for over 200 years.
The Findhorn Village Conservation Company (FVCC) say that they are now in the advanced stages of talks with the Novar Estate in Easter Ross about buying pockets of land around the village.
Novar Estate’s interest in the land first began in 1767 when General Sir Hector Munro Ferguson purchase coastal land around the Moray village.
Now with assistance from Highlands and Islands Enterprise FVCC secretary Marjory Barber says that a good relationship has been built with Novar over the last year, culminating with the community now being in a position to launch a bid with the Scottish Land Fund.
The fund can provide as much as 95% of the purchase price for the land, and that, according to FVCC director Christine Hunt, gives the group confidence to move forward. She said: “Once we have established the value we will be able to make our application to the Scottish Land Fund.
“If we are successful we will go ahead and complete the purchase, if that is what the public want.”
The land would be used for the benefit of local residents and visitors with the public being asked to put forward their ideas during a detail consultation and feasibility study conducted by external consultants.
FVCC was supported in its formation by funding from Awards for All two years ago, with a remit that includes environmental protection and sustainable development.
Su Cooper, Highlands and Islands Enterprise development manager, said that they were delighted to have been able to support FVCC in the early stages of the project.
She said: “Across the Highlands and Islands HIE works with people crating new opportunities for community ownership. Projects can provide vital local services, create jobs, provide income and help communities become more sustainable.”