Greg's Hut bothy on the flanks of Cross Fell, on the Pennine Way. Photo: Bob Smith Photography

Greg's Hut bothy on the flanks of Cross Fell, on the Pennine Way. Photo: Bob Smith Photography

The charity that cares for mountain shelters in Britain ended 2022 with a large financial surplus.

The Mountain Bothies Association said this was due to higher than expected donations and legacies, as well as a curtailment of maintenance activities while bothies were closed in the early part of the year.

Income for the year was more than £740,000, resulting in a surplus of £432,235. Its current bothy maintenance plans are budgeted to cost more than £300,000.

The organisation increased its maintenance of buildings following the Covid-19 pandemic, boosting its spending to nearly £250,000, 67 per cent more than the previous year. Major projects included the renovations of Greg’s Hut on the Pennine Way in the North Pennines, and the Red House in the Cairngorms.

MBA chairman Simon Birch said: “The association has had a much more productive year as the effects of the pandemic continued to reduce.

“With bothies open again bothy maintenance work has increased. We are fortunate that income has continued to flow and the association has resources to catch up fully with maintenance work as conditions allow. Membership numbers have been maintained despite the recent closure of bothies.

“We end the year with sound reserves, strong membership and an excellent group of expert and enthusiastic active volunteers.”

At year end, the MBA said it was maintaining 102 bothies and two emergency shelters – 83 in Scotland, 12 in England and nine in Wales – plus 1 bothy currently closed because of the discovery of asbestos.

It said: “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 MBA was established in 1965, and has about 3,800 members. It undertakes the restoration and maintenance of old cottages, huts and similar buildings throughout Great Britain for use as open shelters for walkers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

Its trustees and officers are unpaid and receive only expenses for travel, subsistence, stationery and post.

More information, including the Bothy Code, is on the Mountain Bothies Association website.

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