Bothies reopen in England, but not Scotland and Wales

© Dan Bailey

Following the lifting of statutory Coronavirus restrictions in England on 19th July, English bothies maintained by the Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) have re-opened* for "responsible use".

Greg's Hut, Cross Fell - one of several bothies in northern England now open for careful use  © Dan Bailey
Greg's Hut, Cross Fell - one of several bothies in northern England now open for careful use
© Dan Bailey

In Scotland and Wales, where some legal measures relevant to bothy use still apply - in particular limits on the number of people from different households who can meet in an indoor space -  MBA bothies remain closed to public use. 

"However" say the MBA,"we expect this situation to change in the near future and will update this information when that happens. Please therefore visit our website and check the current position every time you are thinking of visiting a bothy.

"Covid-19 has not gone away and Governments are advising that everyone should remain vigilant and continue to take precautions to stop the further spread of the virus. We have therefore prepared some general guidance that we recommend that you follow if you intend to visit one of the bothies that are now available.

"Bothies are unregulated spaces and you should always make your own risk assessment before deciding to visit. If you do decide to visit then we ask that you exercise personal responsibility while at the bothy and in particular always take a tent to sleep in if others are present."

The MBA ask bothy-goers to follow these basic guidelines:

  • Make yourself aware of, and follow, current Government health guidelines.
  • Do not set off to visit a bothy if you have symptoms. We recommend that you also take a lateral flow test even if you don't have symptoms.
  • Take and use your own PPE, i.e. face masks and sanitising fluid.
  • Ventilate the building by opening windows and doors but remember to shut the door when you leave.
  • It is especially important that when you leave, you take with you everything that you have brought in, including rubbish, so that the potential to leave the virus on the surface of your bothy discard is eliminated.
  • Follow the bothy code and always be respectful, courteous, and tolerant of others.
  • Remember that bothies are always used at your own risk.

* For conservation reasons, Wainhope Bothy will not reopen until September.

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