Apparently commercial use of bothies is not allowed…

Which is strange, as I have seen a good deal of commercial use of bothies in my time. And there is commercial and commercial… Are the army commercial? I’d certainly say so. They are running training courses and the leaders are paid to do that. Apparently though large groups of soldiers, firemen, police etc sit well with the coordinator of Dulyn Bothy but a group of three from which I will make no profit from does not. Well, I have this to say to the MBA…

Email to the chairman of the MBA

I’ve just had a conversation with the coordinator of Dulyn Bothy in the Carneddau. It was noted I am delivering a guided walking trip through my business to that location in May, someone it seems spotted my promotion of my work in Snowdonia and informed the MBA of this, and I have been asked to cease from using this or any bothy with groups.

I was not contacted regarding numbers, regularity or my knowledge of the MBA. Being a former member and someone who has stayed in most bothies in Scotland and Wales I have prided myself on my careful use of the great outdoors and have this to say:

My groups never exceed five people and are more often just three.
I deliver an overnight in a bothy to those wishing to progress with me from novice walker to competent backpacker no more than twice each year, once at Dylan Bothy and once at Sourlies Bothy. These trips are irregular though and often a year goes by without any visit at all.
I provide a verbal history of the MBA and each visit has my group taking rubbish away with them

I feel I was told not to use the bothy based on a misunderstanding of the scale of use. Please note again the rare regularity of visit and the tiny group size.

I will, where I feel it is appropriate, use the UK bothy network for introduction to wild country courses as I have always done.

For clarity, while the MBA tacitly allows the army, mountain centres of excellence such as Plas y Brenin and Glenmore Lodge, the fire brigade, the police, school groups and youth clubs etc. to make use of mountain bothies I will certainly continue with my exceptionally low impact usage both with my small groups and as an individual hiker continuing to explore the best of the UK’s mountain environments.


Andrew Lamb

The response

When there is one I’ll add it here…


Walk leader @ Wales Outdoors, life model @ Cardiff Life Models and poet @ Self Published I opened the first mountain bike hire business in the Brecon Beacons National Park in 1995. Since then my business, Wales Outdoors, has grown and morphed and is now the most active and most popular guided walks and adventure travel provider in Wales. Andy has been a volunteer co-ordinator, guided walks programme organiser and part time central area warden for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, chair of Brecon Beacons Tourism, a Duke of Edinburghs area co-ordinator, a Princes Trust social inclusion manager, the catalyst for the Brecon Beacons National Park Environment Charter and a key motivator for the inception of the outdoor activity peer group, SWOAPG. Join Me! for a walk or two :)