Scots bothies given major revamp


By Cara Sulieman

SCOTLAND’S bothies have had a major revamp this year, with a record amount of money spent on sprucing them up.

In the last financial year £45,000 was spent on maintenance work on 58 out of 100 of the buildings looked after by the Mountain Bothy Association.

The group made headlines earlier this year with the installation of a new chemical toilet at one of the properties they maintain.

And two major projects have been carried out with the former schoolhouse at Duag Bridge in the Highlands being transformed from a derelict building into a fully habitable shelter.

Camban bothy in Inverness-shire, which has been on the association’s books for 40 years, also got a full renovation.

Alterations after survey

The MBA has also had to make changes to buildings so they comply with national fire regulations.

The Association carried out a survey of the fire risk in bothies with loft sleeping space and poor access. As a result, alterations were made at a number of bothies.
John Arnott, chairman of the MBA, said: “Our first priority is the safety of the people who use the bothies. Over the last 5 years we have surveyed all the bothies we maintain in order to identify any fire risks.
“We have then discussed this with our volunteers and worked out actions necessary to reduce any risk to a low level.”

The MBA was set up in 1965 to ensure that the huge variety of shelters across the country is maintained so that walkers and other outdoor enthusiasts can continue to use them.

It does not own any of the buildings but has agreements in place with the owners to carry out the work.

Bothies are usually old cottages and huts that are not in use but provide basic shelter from ramblers in rural parts of the country – often they are old crofters or shepherds shelters.