Police launch Bothy Watch as walkers' safety put at risk by revellers
Increased awareness of the bothies’ existence and accessibility have led to problems and genuine outdoor enthusiasts prevented from using them because of groups of revellers.
Police Scotland said it plans to work with the Mountain Bothies Association and volunteers to tackle crime in the remote areas where the bothies are found.
It said the scheme, which includes members of Forestry and Land Scotland, local authorities and mountain rescue team volunteers, aims to keep the bothies free from damage and allowing them to be used for the purpose they are intended for.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “For years these buildings have been a valuable and in fact quite a social resource for hillwalkers and cyclists, with many reliant upon them on their long-distance trekking routes.
“Nowadays there is a wealth of information available online about their locations and as a result they have become generally more accessible.
“This trend for the bothy has attracted a different type of user and we are concerned that health and safety on the hills is compromised and the integrity of the bothy lost.
“We are aware of a report that genuine hillwalkers were prevented access to a bothy full of revellers. They were forced to continue on in bad weather and subsequently had to be rescued off the hillside.
“This is a real concern for us and we want to raise awareness to the consequences of not using these shelters correctly.