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A year with the MBA

Friday 28th July 2017, 2:08pm

Maintenance to mountain bothies cost more than £85,000 in 2016.

And that figure doesn’t include any cost for labour, as the 1400 days’ work at over 50 bothies was done entirely by volunteers.

The Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) has published its Annual Report and Accounts for 2016, showing a successful year that has built on progress already made.

The organisation looks after about 100 bothies, mainly in Scotland but also in Wales and in the north of England, and over the course of the year held over 100 work parties at more than 50 of the bothies. A total of 1,404 days of work was contributed by 257 different people. The £85,000 spent on maintenance was more than a third up on 2015.

During the year a new bothy was opened at Camasunary in Skye, replacing the previous bothy there which had been taken back into private use by the owner, and agreement was reached for a new bothy – Abyssinia – in Argyll, which has since opened.

Membership of the MBA remained steady at around 3,800, and income, which comes entirely from members and donors, rose by 10 per cent to over £157,000.

MBA Chairman, Simon Birch, said: “After the excitement of our anniversary year in 2015, we anticipated a somewhat quieter year in 2016 but instead have delivered over 100 work parties and continued an immense amount of bothy maintenance which, after all, is what we exist to do.

“We have continued to maintain strong working relationships with all landowners and greatly appreciate their support and generosity without which the Association would not exist. We are a volunteer-run organisation and large numbers have been involved in work parties and in running the Association. A huge thank you to them all.”

The MBA is a charity and was established in 1965. With the consent and support of their owners, the Association undertakes the restoration and maintenance of around 100 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. All of the restoration and maintenance work is undertaken by volunteers and is financed by member subscriptions and by donations. The work of the Association was recognised by the award of the Queens Award for Voluntary Service in 2015.

The new bothy, now opened: Abyssinia, at the foot of the Arrochar Alps.