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An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Ronnie Hillbagger » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:23 am

al78 wrote:I'm not 100% sure what the link is between a book and commercialisation of bothies. Is it that someone wrote a book about bothies, and that has incited people to visit them and are careless, which has left some of them in a poor state to the point where one or two of them have been closed?


Hi A178,

The owners of An Cladach bothy have cited information in the commercial guidebook Scottish Bothy Bible by Geoff Allan as a reason that will now be closing the bothy for 6 months of the year. Hopefully something will change and this will be averted but it is my understanding at the moment that the bothy will be closed unless anyone else has an update?
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Cairngormwanderer » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:02 am

Ronnie Hillbagger wrote:
Hi Neil,

I am not a troll and I suggest you calm down with the insults. ...


However, despite listing a pedigree, you lack that crucial element: a name. Youi could be anyone. I doubt very much if you are, but you could even be the writer of the poison pen letters - or indeed the Chairman!
I'm not going to respond to an anonymous writer for the MBA questions, but in defence of my own reputation: yes, my responses can be robust. But to accuse me of playing the man, then to cite my 'rant' in the latest MBA newsletter is a bit rich. I addressed Mr Scales' arguments. Vigorously, yes, but all my points were in response to his arguments rather than his personlity - which I do not know. That he is named in the article at all is simply to identify the source of his claims.
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Essan » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:46 am

al78 wrote:I'm not 100% sure what the link is between a book and commercialisation of bothies. Is it that someone wrote a book about bothies, and that has incited people to visit them and are careless, which has left some of them in a poor state to the point where one or two of them have been closed?


There have been hundreds of books, magazine articles and TV programmes about bothies over the past few decades. Unlike The Bothy Bible, many of them have not encouraged responsible use and this has indeed often led to problems and even closures. Since publication of The Bothy Bible there is anecdotal evidence of an improvement in how many bothies are being treated by users.

Although the Estate manager has blamed an increase in visitors to An Cladach on the book, there is no evidence this is actually the case and, indeed, the fact that one the complaints is the number of said visitors calling at the farm to ask how to get to the bothy rather implies that they haven't read the book (or a map)! Notwithstanding which, the book does mention parking "at Lossit farm" when in fact the farm is a mile down a private road - so you should park at nearby Ballygrant, as clearly indicated on the MBA website Pedestrian access through the farm and on towards the coast is not a problem, nor is misuse of the bothy itself.
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Bourach » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:02 am

Essan,

As you are an MO within the area of this bothy you will be aware that it is the Estate, not the MBA, nor some anonymous vigilantes, that has specifically cited Geoff Allan and the Bothy Bible as the reason for the bothy closure, for six months every year indefinitely. That’s all the evidence needed.

Please tell me if this is not the case
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Essan » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:30 am

Bourach wrote:Essan,

As you are an MO within the area of this bothy you will be aware that it is the Estate, not the MBA, nor some anonymous vigilantes, that has specifically cited Geoff Allan and the Bothy Bible as the reason for the bothy closure, for six months every year indefinitely. That’s all the evidence needed.

Please tell me if this is not the case



Yes, that's what the Estate Manager has said. His opinion may not, of course, be correct and may or may not have been swayed by certain misinformation passed on by other persons. The proposed closure is a trial to see what difference it makes (in association with additional notices). Personally, if they are concerned about increased use, I think they'd be better off closing it in the summer though!
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Sunset tripper » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:36 am

Ronnie Hillbagger wrote:
Due to the closure of An Cladach as a direct result of the Bothy Bible/bothy commercialisation I have decided to break my silence and I opted to use this excellent outdoor forum to do this and get news of the An Cladach disaster 'out there',


Personally I'm not a big fan of bothies but I have used them on occasion and see their value as emergency shelters. Also I have carried out trash from bothies many times and I appreciate the hard work that goes in to maintaining them by the MBA.

I imagine less than 1% of the people who use walkhighlands actually use bothies and even less than that have any concern about the partial closure of An Cladach.
Surely if you are a MBA member and it concerns you so much you can take your grievances directly to the MBA in person. I doubt if many WH members are interested in MBA politics if that's what this is. It seems strange that 2 presumably MBA members, yourself and mc bothy have become WH members because of this single issue. I think you are in the wrong place. :?

Though to be fair it is mildly entertaining.
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Bourach » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:58 am

Yes, that's what the Estate Manager has said. His opinion may not, of course, be correct


A somewhat moot point as the result is the same.

That damn book has directly resulted in the closure of an MBA bothy.
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby mynthdd2 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:22 pm

Surely the focus should now be on how to move forward rather than all this 'handbags at dawn' stuff
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Cairngormwanderer » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:34 pm

mynthdd2 wrote:Surely the focus should now be on how to move forward rather than all this 'handbags at dawn' stuff

You're quite right, and that's what will happen. The MBA have a liaison officer to work with landowners and address any problems that arise now and then for a number of different causes.
We also have regular meetings at different levels, from area up to national level where we address issues and indeed have what promises to be a lively AGM this weekend in Ballater.
Most people recognise that attending these meetings, voting on issues and getting involved in the running of the MBA is the most effective way of influencing its course and conduct and of challenging any policies you disagree with. Much the same as other organisations.
Grandstanding it on social media is all very well if you feel a need to tell the world how wrong the MBA is, but the actual decisions are taken through the meetings and processes laid down in the rules.
Now, enough of this, I'm away onto twitter to explain how the Government has got it wrong. I fully expect the country to be entirely in order by teatime. :wink:
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Ronnie Hillbagger » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:40 pm

Cairngormwanderer wrote:
Ronnie Hillbagger wrote:
Hi Neil,

I am not a troll and I suggest you calm down with the insults. ...


However, despite listing a pedigree, you lack that crucial element: a name. Youi could be anyone. I doubt very much if you are, but you could even be the writer of the poison pen letters - or indeed the Chairman!
I'm not going to respond to an anonymous writer for the MBA questions, but in defence of my own reputation: yes, my responses can be robust. But to accuse me of playing the man, then to cite my 'rant' in the latest MBA newsletter is a bit rich. I addressed Mr Scales' arguments. Vigorously, yes, but all my points were in response to his arguments rather than his personlity - which I do not know. That he is named in the article at all is simply to identify the source of his claims.


Hi Neil,

As does about 99% of folk on WH... Eh? Please enlighten us about your 'poison pen letters'. So, to hold a view that differs from yours or dares to criticise the MBA on this or any platform are you saying you must know the persons concerned? Really? That's odd as I've seen you piling in on FB where you did not seem to bothered about a person's name. Regardless of anyone's identity the issues are there to be debated and it is a sad day that you feel you cannot do this given your position in the MBA.

To bolster my point about the Autumn MBA newsletter here are a couple of quotes from your response:

"His claim that the MC is the 'driving force' of the MBA is also misleading. If Mr Scales
was quite the egalitarian he makes out he would surely recognise the volunteers who do
the work on bothies as the 'driving force' and the MC and Trustees as enablers, each
working in their own legally defined roles."

"A touch of paranoia seems to infect Mr Scales' warning that the proposed changes lead
to "a real risk that the Trustee Board will be perceived as an inviolable elite tier of
management concerned only to consolidate their own power and status."

The contributors on here can decide but those points could have been easily made by not questioning Mr Scales' motives or calling him paranoid. It is no wonder that many in the MBA question the direction of the MBA with responses like this. I rest my case.

Oh, and I'm not the chairman. :)
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Ronnie Hillbagger » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:46 pm

Sunset tripper wrote:
Ronnie Hillbagger wrote:
Due to the closure of An Cladach as a direct result of the Bothy Bible/bothy commercialisation I have decided to break my silence and I opted to use this excellent outdoor forum to do this and get news of the An Cladach disaster 'out there',


Personally I'm not a big fan of bothies but I have used them on occasion and see their value as emergency shelters. Also I have carried out trash from bothies many times and I appreciate the hard work that goes in to maintaining them by the MBA.

I imagine less than 1% of the people who use walkhighlands actually use bothies and even less than that have any concern about the partial closure of An Cladach.
Surely if you are a MBA member and it concerns you so much you can take your grievances directly to the MBA in person. I doubt if many WH members are interested in MBA politics if that's what this is. It seems strange that 2 presumably MBA members, yourself and mc bothy have become WH members because of this single issue. I think you are in the wrong place. :?

Though to be fair it is mildly entertaining.


Hi Sunset,

Fair points but I've done my utmost to stick to the issues which are very pertinent to the outdoor community. I've no idea how many people on WH use bothies, but some do, and I'm pretty sure that they would be very concerned to learn of the situation at An Cladach and I would wager similar scenarios for other bothies in the future. I've decided just to let my MBA membership lapse as I feel that I can no longer support the MBA after the An Cladach/Bothy Bible/bothy commercialisation mess. A sad day.
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Ronnie Hillbagger » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:47 pm

Bourach wrote:
Yes, that's what the Estate Manager has said. His opinion may not, of course, be correct


A somewhat moot point as the result is the same.

That damn book has directly resulted in the closure of an MBA bothy.


Hi Bourach,

Bullseye. Perhaps you will be petitioned for your name anytime soon... :?
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Marty_JG » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:27 pm

So, Mountain Boothies are fine if they're not commercialised, that is - as far as I understand it - basically kept word-of-mouth by nice people in Páramo, but the scores of them are not really a resource for the entire public. Okay, but the MBA should withdraw from charitable status and become a tax-paying private business. I don't think it's reasonable for the MBA to be both a charity, and the tax exceptions that benefit it, whilst also trying to be a private clubhouse.

And it's not like the MBA don't have a location list.

https://www.mountainbothies.org.uk/bothies/location-map/

Anyway, I've got a tent and a firepit so it doesn't bother me.
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Bourach » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:48 pm

Bothies should be open for all to use respectfully and responsibly.

What’s the crux in the case of An Cladach is one man’s lust for personal profit has direct impacted on us all by the removal of this bothy.
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Ronnie Hillbagger » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:03 pm

Marty_JG wrote:So, Mountain Boothies are fine if they're not commercialised, that is - as far as I understand it - basically kept word-of-mouth by nice people in Páramo, but the scores of them are not really a resource for the entire public. Okay, but the MBA should withdraw from charitable status and become a tax-paying private business. I don't think it's reasonable for the MBA to be both a charity, and the tax exceptions that benefit it, whilst also trying to be a private clubhouse.

And it's not like the MBA don't have a location list.



Anyway, I've got a tent and a firepit so it doesn't bother me.


Hi Marty,

With respect, you're slightly missing the point. The argument is not about the locations being kept secret as the locations are freely available on the MBA website since 2009 as you point out. Many MBA members had/have a problem with this but personally I don't.

The current issue different and very simple: a commercial guidebook - the Bothy Bible - was written by an MBA Maintenance Organiser, Geoff Allan, and the MBA allowed him to place the MBA logo in his book for a 10% cut of the profits from the book's sales. As we speak, an MBA bothy - An Cladach - will be closed as a direct result of problems caused by that book being cited by the bothy owners. To put it another way it is bothy commercialisation, that was, at the very least, given the nod of approval by the MBA which has led (unless something changes) to a closure of an MBA bothy. How is that good for anyone? Of course there is another point in all this in the fact that the MBA is a Scottish Charity, as you have alluded to, that indirectly helped (by allowing him to use their logo) one of their officials in making money directly on the back of MBA bothies - a very sore point for many MBA members/volunteers. I'm not at all saying that that was a deliberate position taken at the time by the MBA - to be totally honest I think it was simply incompetence on the part of MBA trustees - but you have to question whether or not that is a good PR position for a Scottish charity that receives all the benefits that you mention? I would say it is not, and I only hope that the MBA distances itself completely
and publicly from Geoff Allan and gives him his money back, but I'm pretty certain that will not happen.
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