A NEW campaign has been launched to save a village pub after landlords revealed they had been forced to closed the doors.

Clair and Vic Coulson revealed in the News that they had shut The Green Dragon in Combe St Nicholas and the pub was up for sale.

On the same day that the pub shut, a Save the Dragon page was launched on Facebook, and the community campaign has been gaining moment ever since.

The idea was started by Combe St Nicholas resident Dave Crossman, who is hoping the village can come together to take over the landmark business.

He said: “I have been talking to the Plunkett Foundation, who are specialists in helping communities to buy out shops and pubs.

“They have given us clear advice on how to approach this and how to move forwards.”

The first step is a questionnaire which is available on savethegreendragon.com, and hard copies will be posted to residents in the coming week.

Mr Crossman added: “We had 78 responses in the first day. The key thing is to get the consultation done, so we need to get all the responses before the beginning of October.

“Then we can analyse the data and talk to the Plunkett Foundation about how we can proceed.”

A community pub is owned and controlled by a large number of people from within the village – typically around 200 people.

“I have lived in Combe St Nicholas for 30 years and The Green Dragon has always played a key role for people living within the village and the local community alike,” said Mr Crossman.

“The pub has always been a great meeting place for friends and family, for meeting new people and has also provided people who live on their own with the opportunity to socialise with others.

“The pub plays an important role in the day to day lives of people in the community and I am sure that without a pub in the village, many people will be affected.”

Earlier this month, villagers in Halse, near Taunton, completed the first stage of buying their local pub, The New Inn.

It took the community there just 14 weeks to save the pub, and they had to raise additional funds for refurbishment.

Mr Crossman added: “There is no doubt that running a pub in these tough times is extremely challenging.

“The current landlords have done a great job with the pub over the last few years but can unfortunately no longer continue.

“I truly believe that the best way forward is for the local community to stand together and do all they can to keep the pub as a pub which can continue to be enjoyed by all.”