An Cladach bothy on Islay. Photo: Odd Wellies CC-BY-2.0

An Cladach bothy on Islay. Photo: Odd Wellies [CC-2.0]

The charity caring for a bothy on Islay has agreed it will be closed for six months each year, at the request of the owners.

The Mountain Bothies Association said that, from next year, An Cladach bothy will not be available during the stalking season, from September to the beginning of March.

Anyone visiting the shelter, on the east coast of the island, from now until February 2020, contacts the Dunlossit Estate office, owners of the hut, before accessing the area.

The MBA, the charity that cares for 105 rudimentary shelters throughout Scotland, Wales and England, said it depends on visitors to the bothies observing any conditions the owners may set. Most of the buildings it maintains, which are available to outdoor enthusiasts to use free of charge, are not owned by the association.

It said: “Dunlossit Estate, the owners of An Cladach bothy on Islay, have asked us to clarify both the parking arrangements for visitors to the building and the arrangements for contacting the estate during the stalking season.

“We have agreed that the bothy will be closed from 1 September to 1 March each year commencing September 2020.

“The estate have emphasised that regardless of any advice that intending visitors might have been given in guidebooks or elsewhere, they should only park in the small car park at Ballygrant Hall and should walk in from there.

“They have also asked that before accessing the area during the period between August 2019 and February 2020 inclusive, visitors should contact the estate office on 01496 840232.”

Visitors can also email the office.

The MBA said: “We would like to take this opportunity to remind visitors to all of the bothies that we maintain of the need to observe any conditions that the owners impose on their use and also that they follow the Bothy Code.

“Information about each of the bothies and about the code can be found on our website.”

An Cladach body is on the shore overlooking the Sound of Islay, about 7km (4¼ miles) south of Port Askaig.

The MBA was established in 1965, and has about 4,300 members. With the consent and support of their owners, it undertakes the restoration and maintenance 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.

It currently maintains 105 bothies and two emergency shelters; 86 in Scotland, 12 in northern England and nine in Wales.

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