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MBA Volunteers repaired 52 Bothies

Cam Ban Bothy

Cam Ban Bothy

The Mountain Bothy Association (MBA) has revealed in its annual report that 52 of the 99 bothies it maintains were repaired by its volunteers last year. The report highlights the work of its volunteer members who regularly join work parties or carry out maintenance work on the bothy that they look after.

The biggest project was the refurbishment of Luib Chonnal in the West Highlands. This included replacing the stairs and fitting new windows and stove. The work party involved a special workshop on using lime mortar given in association with Historic Scotland. Lairig Leacach, also in the West Highlands, has been given a new roof and a new double sleeping platform built. Other bothies have had their loft spaces closed off to reduce the risk from fires, and at Corrour, in the Cairngorms, the new toilet has been working well and means that the sensitive habitat is not being polluted by bothy users.

The annual report also shows that membership of the MBA is up 11% on the previous year, with 4,200 members. The MBA was established in 1965 to organise 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. Many of the buildings that are cared for by the MBA would otherwise have become derelict. The MBA does not own any of these buildings and restoration and maintenance is undertaken with the permission of the owners, with whom the MBA enjoys excellent working relations.

The organisation has recently undertaken major renovation work at Cam Ban in Upper Glen Affric and work at the old schoolhouse at Duag Bridge in Ross and Cromarty means a new bothy will be available this year.

Sadly the annual report does not mention the number of cups of tea consumed on work parties, however it does feature some rather fetching photos from 1970, taken by Irvine Butterfield, of a work party on Rum. Notable, in addition to the shortness of the shorts, is the youthfulness of those taking part and the sheer work involved in renovating a roofless ruin into a useable building.

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