Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Bothies not profits

The sustainability of Scotland's mountain bothies is being threatened by commercial groups, the Mountain Bothies Association (MBA), the organisation that maintains the network, formed in 1965 and looks after about 100 bothies.

Bothies are found throughout the Highlands, with most of them maintained by the MBA. They are free, but users are asked to follow a "bothy code". The code prohibits the use of the buildings by commercial groups. The charity said there were a "number of reasons" why commercial use of bothies - for example by guided tours or adventure holidays - could damage the interests of other bothy users. The MBA said it was happy with commercial groups using bothies as a lunch shelter or "in the event of a genuine emergency"

"There have been incidents when legitimate bothy users have been made to feel unwelcome, inconvenienced or even refused entry when commercial groups have been in residence. Our volunteers who maintain the bothies, not unreasonably, feel aggrieved to know that their hard work is contributing to the profits of a business that probably does not support our organisation in any way."

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