The Peanmeanach bothy. Photo: Colin Kinnear CC-BY-SA-2.0

The Peanmeanach bothy. Photo: Colin Kinnear CC-BY-SA-2.0

Walkers and outdoor enthusiasts will no longer have free use of a bothy in the western Highlands.

From early October, the Peanmeanach on the Ardnish peninsula, will cease to be an open access shelter.

The owners of the building, the Ardnish Estate, said problems from the increased number of visitors at the site were the reason for ending its agreement with the Mountain Bothies Association to allow free use of the shelter, which lies near the north shore of Lochailort, off the road between Glenfinnan and Arisaig.

The bothy will be locked in early autumn, after which the MBA said the estate intends to renovate the building which will then be available by booking to obtain the key, on a not-for-profit basis.

An MBA spokesperson said: “We are sorry to lose this popular bothy but would like to express our gratitude to the estate for allowing us to maintain Peanmeanach as an open access shelter since 1975.”

It said the exact closure date will be notified later.

The MBA cares for and maintains 105 bothies and two emergency shelters, 86 in Scotland, 12 in northern England and 9 in Wales, almost all of which it does not own, but looks after with the agreement of their owners.

The charity has about 4,300 members, whose volunteers carry out maintenance and repair on the bothies.

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