The new bothy at Flittingford in the Kielder Forest. Photo: MBA

The new bothy at Flittingford in the Kielder Forest. Photo: MBA

Volunteers have converted a roofless ruin in a national park into a shelter for walkers and cyclists.

The former shepherd’s bothy at Flittingford in the Kielder Forest has been restored by the Mountain Bothies Association.

The single-roomed building can sleep four people and has an open fireplace. The shelter in the Northumberland national park is on Forestry Commission land and is only available for use by cyclists and walkers; no vehicles are allowed in the forest.

An MBA spokesperson said: “It is situated on the former drovers’ trail to Bellingham and local knowledge suggests that it was used as a stopping-off point for the drovers where they would tidy up the sheep ready for market.

“Flittingford is an important addition to the MBA-maintained chain of bothies in the Kielder area, being a day’s walk to other bothies at Roughside and Wainhope.”

Visitors are also reminded to follow the Bothy Code and to take all litter away with them. The Flittingford bothy can be found at NY754885.

The MBA is a charity and was established in 1965. It has about 3,800 members and, with the consent and support of their owners, undertakes the restoration and maintenance of a number of old cottages, huts and similar buildings throughout the wilder parts of Scotland, England and Wales for use as open shelters for walkers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

Many of the buildings that are cared for by the MBA would otherwise have become derelict. The association currently looks after 100 bothies. All of the restoration and maintenance work is undertaken by volunteers and is financed by member subscriptions and by donations.

The work of the Association was recognised by the award of the Queens Award for Voluntary Service in 2015.

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