A community effort has ensured a playground deemed unsafe has now reopened.
There was a public outcry after playgrounds across the region were shut following health and safety inspections.
The major problem was the lack of bark, making areas around equipment unsafe.
Residents in Beauly came together and, with the help of the community council, managed to resurface Aird Road playpark with adequate bark this week.
Councillor Emma Knox said: “It was wonderful to see the Beauly community pull together so quickly to fund and install the specialised bark for their playpark.
“The Community Council and Beauly Gala Committee do amazing work for the community.
“I’m not surprised though because the people of Beauly have demonstrated real community spirit during the Covid crisis.”
A post on a Beauly social media site said: “Massive community effort in Aird Road.
“We would like to thank all involved in making this happen, Beauly Community Council and Beauly Gala for donating the funds to allow us to purchase the bark so the kids don’t need to wait until April.”
Around 50 playgrounds of the 300-plus council-operated sites have had equipment removed or fencing erected without warning.
Playpark closures across Inverness have also caused concern.
Inverness South councillor Ken Gowans said: “I am deeply concerned that play areas have been closed due of a lack of basic maintenance.
“It is difficult to understand how this could have happened as I presume that we have a maintenance schedule for all of these parks in place?
“Since their closure there has been considerable backlash from the public which is completely understandable given that this is one of the few areas that children can use during the pandemic. In short, the closures are completely unacceptable.
He added: “I have raised this issue on several occasions and it has fallen on deaf ears. At a time when we should be encouraging children to in outdoor play whenever they can against the constraints of the pandemic, these closures are unacceptable.
“With all of the other challenges that children and families are facing as a result of pandemic the reopening of play parks needs to be a priority to support health, well-being and exercise opportunities for everyone in our communities.
“The closure of these play parks highlight the fragility of the amenities available for localised recreation in the east of Inverness.
“The east of Inverness has had significant housing development and population increases over the last few years and this is to be welcomed, however we also need local amenities and infrastructure to keep pace with these developments and it is evident to everyone that has not been the case.
“This further underlines why there is a need for major investments in both outdoor and indoor sports facilities in the east of the city.”
Highland Council has confirmed it has made the move in the interests of safety, but insisted it was a temporary measure.
A spokesman confirmed: “We are having to close temporarily a number of sites, or take play items out of service, that are deemed unsafe following inspection. This is to protect children.
“The inspection of play parks is a statutory duty and there to protect children.
“The closures are temporary and we will be working with ward members and community groups over the next few months to re-open parks.
“We were allocated £100,000 this year to invest in playparks but members have yet to agree how that will be split across the areas.
“In addition we understand there to be proposals for additional ward funding, some of which members may want to allocated to play parks.
“At the last council [meeting] members agreed that unspent Covid money could be used for playparks.”