Will's Bothy in the Scottish Borders is the latest addition to the association's list. Photo: MBA

Will's Bothy in the Scottish Borders is the latest addition to the association's list. Photo: MBA

The charity that looks after more than 100 mountain shelters across Britain said it spent £81,000 on maintaining them last year.

The Mountain Bothies Association opened new buildings at Abyssinia in Argyll and Bute; Flittingford in Northumberland; and Cae Amos in Snowdonia.

It also took on management responsibility for Great Lingy Hut in the Lake District.

More than 60 of the huts, which are free to use overnight by outdoors enthusiasts, benefited from work on them, by 124 working parties involving the charity’s volunteers. Its team of maintenance organisers also undertook more work checking buildings and carrying out routine repairs.

Revealing the figures in its annual review, a spokesperson for the MBA said: “At year end, we were maintaining 102 bothies – 81 in Scotland, 12 in England and 9 in Wales.

“This is only possible because of the support we receive from the owners of the buildings who allow us to maintain them as open shelters and the efforts of our members involved in both maintenance activity and in running the association. We thank them all.”

The charity has also redesigned and updated its website to improve the public’s ability to find out more about bothies and how to use them responsibly.

The MBA has no paid staff, relying on volunteers for its work, and actually only owns one of the bothies – the rest belonging to owners as diverse as the Queen, Honister Slate Mine and the Glenelg Sheepstock Club.

Many of the buildings that are cared for by the MBA would otherwise have become derelict. 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.

The association announced it was also resuming responsibility for looking after Will’s Bothy at Leysburnfoot in the Scottish Borders.

The bothy, a former shepherd’s cottage, stands close to Riccarton Junction on the disused Waverley Route railway that ran between Edinburgh and Carlisle.

The spokesperson said: “The bothy was first renovated by the Friends of Will’s Bothy in conjunction with the MBA in 1994.

“Our tenure of the building subsequently lapsed, but has been taken up again at the behest of Forest Enterprise Scotland, who own the building.

“The bothy, also known as Leysburnfoot, is a memorial to the hill-runner and climber Will Ramsbotham, who died whilst climbing in North Wales in 1993. The Ramsbotham family remain very interested in the bothy and are delighted by the renewal of MBA involvement.

“The bothy has fallen into disrepair and volunteers from the MBA southern Scotland team will undertake a programme of renovations beginning in September.”
More details are on the MBA website.

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