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Penmeanach Bothy to Close Thanks to "Irresponsible People"

© Geoff Allan

Penmeanach bothy on the Ardnish peninsula near Arisaig will be closed as a public shelter from this autumn. It seems the much-loved coastal bothy has become a victim of its own popularity among anti-social visitors.

Penmeanach - a brilliant bothy by the sea  © Geoff Allan
Penmeanach - a brilliant bothy by the sea
© Geoff Allan

Ardnish Estate, the owners of the bothy, have informed the Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) that the building will cease to be an open access bothy from early October this year, at which point it will be locked. It will then be renovated by the estate and subsequently reopened and run on a not-for-profit basis as a keyed bookable bothy.

The reason for the closure? Issues the estate sees as arising from an increased number of visitors.

"There have been problems for many years with folk leaving litter, inappropriate toileting and, particularly annoying for the estate, cutting of live wood" Neil Stewart of the MBA told us.

"There also seems to have been an increase in large groups of kayakers using the building, in defiance of the Bothy Code."

"The estate concluded that there was little chance of things improving. I guess that relatively easy proximity to a main road made this bothy particularly vulnerable. We have been pushing the responsible use message and will step up efforts in that regard, but sadly there are some folk who will never take heed. It's not just bothies, it is the countryside in general that is affected by these irresponsible people."

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