ETHE Pairc Trust was established in 2003 and completed its purchase of the Pairc Estate, in South Lochs, Lewis, for the local community in December 2015.

Its estate extends to an area of around 10,840 hectares, with a total of 213 crofts, spread between 11 townships and the trust acquired the Kershader Resource Centre in January.

The estate is mainly hilly moorland with a large number of freshwater lochs, and the community comprises around 400 residents plus a number of others who manage crofts in the area.

With a view to addressing climate change, the group will be investigating if peatland restoration projects can be achieved on the estate’s common grazings.

READ MORE: 10 community land projects in Scotland defy Covid odds to achieve completion

Estate office manager, Fiona Stokes, said: “Our long term vision is to reverse a century of population decline in South Lochs, by providing additional local jobs, more affordable good housing, and improved community facilities to improve the quality of life for all local residents.

“We purchased the Kershader Resource Centre building for the existing users – community groups within Pairc – one of which is the charity Pairc Playgroup. They will have been operating for 25 years in 2022, and we’re holding a pre-birthday party for them.”

The National:

Udny Community Trust will open Cafe48 in the building they acquired in Pitmedden in March 2020, at the start of lockdown

Udny Community Trust will celebrate Community Land Week at the building they acquired in Pitmedden in March last year, right at the start of lockdown, opening the doors of Cafe48 for “A Breakfast roll or a soup and sweet”. Yvonne McLeod, their development officer, said they bought the building with a £100,000 grant from the Scottish Land Fund and revenues from their subsidiary Udny Turbine Company, which manages the community-owned turbine.

“The funds produced from selling locally produced clean energy are ploughed back into the community,” she said.

“Our first priority was to open our community café which we did in November 2020, then we set about addressing some of the accessibility issues of the building.

“We have installed a disability accessible toilet for use by café customers and a wheelchair lift at the front door.

“Next, we intend to create an entirely new accessible entrance at the rear of the property. It’s a late Victorian building – so has required quite a bit of ingenuity and hard work to bring it up to 21st century standards.”

She said the opening of Cafe48 was quickly followed by the development of office and meeting spaces, which were created for use by staff and local community groups.

“We will be unveiling the newly refurbished ‘Quarry Room’ to visitors on 14th October,” added McLeod.

“The room is almost unrecognisable from the dark and dated restaurant that it used to be, and we are really keen to hear what folk think about the work we have been doing.”