Doune Bothy on the West Highland Way
Doune Bothy on the West Highland Way

The charity that looks after Scotland’s bothies spent a record £45,000 on renovating and maintaining more than half the buildings in its care.

The Mountain Bothies Association, the charity that cares for the rudimentary shelters in some of the wildest countryside, says it has increased its maintenance activity, including two major projects.

A former schoolhouse at Duag Bridge in the northern Highlands, which had declined to a state of dereliction, was taken on as a new bothy by the association and fully renovated. Camban bothy in the western Highlands, which has been an MBA-maintained building for 40 years, was given another major renovation with volunteers undertaking work over a number of weeks.

Although the cost of materials and transport rose over the 2008-9 period covered by the association’s latest report, most of the increased spending was down to higher activity by the body.

Membership of the MBA, which was set up in 1965, rose by three per cent over the previous year. A spokesperson said the association continues its sound financial footing.

Seven other bothies have benefitted from work by volunteers, including roof re-sheeting, installation of new windows and doors, and internal improvements such as installation of stoves, bunks, and sleeping platforms.

Although most of the bothies are in Scotland, the MBA also looks after buildings in England and Wales, and has 100 such shelters under its care.

It does not own any of these buildings and restoration and maintenance is undertaken with the permission of the owners. The association says it has excellent working relations with the owners.

Although the MBA pays for the materials and tools for the renovations, all of the work is undertaken by its members on a volunteer basis.

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