The work of the Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) has been recognised with a Queens Award for Voluntary Service - the highest official award that a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Welcoming the award, the charity's 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
'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.'
'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.'
The equivalent of the MBE for individuals, the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is given to organisations in recognition of outstanding voluntary work. The MBA is one of 187 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across the UK to receive the award today.