The Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) has issued a reminder to commercial organisations that they must not use bothies that are maintained by the Association without first obtaining the consent of the owner.
The 100 or so MBA-maintained bothies across the UK do not belong to the charity, but remain in private ownership.
The Association has found evidence, either in the form of actual use or in advertising, that from time to time some bothies are being used by commercial organisations as overnight accommodation for their clients or as a base for their activities. This is prohibited under the MBA's agreements with the owners of these buildings unless the owner has given specific permission.
MBA Trustee and Owner Liaison Officer Roger Muhl said:
'These buildings are made available as open shelters only through the generosity of their owners. Without such generosity there would be no bothies.'
'Unauthorised commercial use places the good relations that the MBA has with these owners under strain and could even result in the closure of a bothy.'
'It is also unfair to legitimate users arriving at the bothy who may have difficulty finding space, be made unwelcome or even be told that they cannot stay.'
Commercial organisations wishing to use bothies must obtain permission to do so from the owner of the building, says the charity. Organisations having difficulty finding bothy owner contact details can contact the MBA for help.