The Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) has been honoured with the Queens Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
The MBA is a charity that undertakes the restoration and maintenance of a number 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.
The charity, which currently looks after almost 100 bothies across the UK, has been recognised for its years of hard work in its local communities.
MBA Chairman, Simon Birch, said: “We are very proud to have received this award. It recognises the huge efforts that have been made by many, many volunteers over the half century that the MBA has been in existence.
“These volunteers have restored, and continue to maintain as open shelters, buildings that are greatly valued by those who explore the remoter parts of the country on foot or by bike. I also want to pay tribute to the owners of these buildings without whose generosity none of this work would have been possible.”
The shelters are unlocked and are available for anyone to use free of charge, and many of the buildings that are cared for by the MBA would otherwise have become derelict.
“Bothies have a long tradition within the outdoor community and indeed can be a lifesaver if the weather deteriorates unexpectedly or a hill walking route turns out to be more arduous than expected,” continued Simon.
“It is now 50 years since the Association was formed and the first building- at Tunskeen in Galloway- was restored. Enthusiasm remains as high as ever and the Association is looking forward to many more years caring for these unique buildings.”
For more information on The Mountain Bothies Association visit: www.mountainbothies.org.uk.