AT least 10 Scottish communities have something to celebrate after they completed projects – against all odds – during the Covid-19 pandemic.

And many will be marking their success with a range of events as Community Land Week (CLW) gets under way this weekend.

There are projects throughout Scotland, from the south with Tarras Nature Reserve, which was bought from Buccleuch Estate, and Carsphairn Woodland, to the Highlands and Islands, including a community shop at Carbost in Skye.

In Fife, there is a new facility in St Andrews – often thought of as particularly affluent – where the St David’s Centre is the community hub after an asset transfer from Fife Council that was finalised on St David’s Day.

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Portree & Braes Community Trust will celebrate its community land buyout on Sunday with a walk in the woods and a campfire picnic for local people, after they acquired a woodland site at Bayfield beside Portree in the teeth of Covid restrictions and lockdowns.

Udney Community Trust in Aberdeenshire will celebrate at the building they acquired at Pitmedden in March 2020, and Pairc Trust in the Western Isles will mark Community Land Week after they acquired the Kershader Resource Centre last January.

The trust was established in May 2016 and completed purchase of the woodland site beside Bayfield Car Park in October last year with funding for the purchase and for development work from the Scottish Land Fund.

Matt Harrison from Ace Academy will be organising a taster of the work he has been carrying out with the support of local primary and secondary schools over the last six weeks.

Under his guidance they have been exploring a variety of plant, tree and animal and bug species; organising litter picks and learning about “leave no trace” philosophy, as well as helping to maintain the site.

“A tree expert who was with us on site has said this is very exciting woodland with some very interesting native species,“ said development officer Fiona Thomson. “This is an ideal opportunity for local people to see what this woodland is all about. The site is centrally located and near bus station.”

This group has already developed many other community-owned projects, such as the helipads on Skye, and delivering additional public toilets in Portree to cope with tourist demand, but Bayfield Car Park development remains their main achievement.

“With funding from the Scottish Land Fund and Scottish Rural Fund, we have been able to purchase for the community, the overgrown tennis courts and dilapidated squash courts which had been condemned,” said Thomson.

“This has become a community owned car park generating revenues for the community business both from car park fees and by next season, the operation of motorhome waste facilities.

“By working with existing community groups and authorities, Portree & Braes Community Trust hopes to facilitate regeneration projects in Portree, Braes and immediate surrounding areas which form part of the electoral area of Portree & Braes.

The work of the Community Trust varies from trying to secure land and buildings for community use to promoting renewable energy projects, organising community events and improving access to education and training opportunities.”

Linsay Chalmers development manager at CLW organisers Community Land Scotland, said: “When communities purchase the land on which their people live and work, they have the tools to reinvigorate their areas and improve the prospects of future generations.

“With all the challenges thrown up by the pandemic we decided to celebrate this year’s CLW with 10 of the many projects which took ownership during all the challenges of Covid.

“This week of celebration is justly deserved. Community land purchase is the start of a long journey often to reverse many years of decline Chair of the Scottish Land Fund, Cara Gillespie ,added: “The Scottish Land Fund has long been a supporter of Community Land Week – a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all things community ownership.

“This year 10 resilient projects, all of which have received Scottish Land Fund backing, will open their doors to the public.

“This is a chance to hear first-hand about the challenges and opportunities ownership brings but even more so a chance to celebrate the power of collective community action.”