Behind the scenes: huts

Posted by Jane Thompson on 28/08/2019
The Don Whillans Memorial Hut – extremely convenient for climbing at the Roaches.

Continuing our look at the work of BMC volunteers supporting our specialist committees. A small but very dedicated and knowledgeable group of volunteers make up the BMC Huts Group. With two key focuses – namely supporting clubs who own or operate mountain huts, and supporting the three national huts – the work the group gets involved with is wide ranging.

Supporting clubs who own or operate mountain huts

An incredibly important resource to the mountaineering community is the extensive network of mountain huts that are owned or operated by BMC-affiliated clubs.  This resource is not only highly valued by the members of these clubs but also by members of other mountaineering clubs and other groups who use these huts as convenient and cost-effective ways to get in to the outdoors.

The Huts Group provides a service for these clubs by maintaining a comprehensive set of guidelines for hut managers covering a range of management issues.  Recent updates have included:

  • G1 Club Organisation & Ownership of Property;
  • G6 Combined Liability Insurance; and
  • G10.1 Private water Supplies;

The next guidelines to be reviewed will be:

  • G9 Trustees;
  • G13 Managing Building Projects; and
  • G16.1 Small Sewage Discharges

The Group offers direct advice and support to BMC-affiliated clubs on the many issues they raise, including: child safeguarding; employers’ liability insurance; fire protection; health and safety; risk assessments; unpaid hut fees; private water supplies; security locks; septic tanks; building developments; corporation tax; grant funding applications; and the BMC Loan Scheme.  Some of these issues require liaison with other BMC committees or members of BMC staff.


The Alex Macintyre Memorial Hut – a great base for Ben Nevis and Glen Coe.

National Huts

There is much liaison with those responsible for the National Huts with several members of the group serving in various capacities on the committees or acting as trustees of the three national huts.

There are three national huts that the group works with:

All three huts are available for any BMC member to book and stay at throughout the year.


The Glen Brittle Memorial hut sits under Skye’s majestic Cuillin ridge.
Photo: Lynne Harris.

The Group deals with queries about the national huts, such as reciprocal rights, and shares good management practice across the huts.

Other activities

The Groups carries out surveys of clubs with huts and uses the results to identify trends in use, share good practice, identify issues that clubs are having and provide action to further support clubs.

The Group provides ‘Huts Seminars’ for those individuals involved in the management, maintenance and upkeep of club huts; this is to advise on new requirements, share good practice, and provide appropriate training.

The Group liaises with Mountaineering Scotland’s Huts Advisory Group in particular with production of guidelines. Where English and Scottish law differ separate guidelines have been produced for Scottish clubs and English clubs with huts in Scotland.  The Group also works with Mountaineering Scotland in relation to the two national huts that are based in Scotland.

Other articles in this series about BMC specialist committees:

Behind the scenes: access and conservation

Behind the scenes: BMC guidebooks 

Behind the scenes: international mountaineering

Behind the scenes: land management

Behind the scenes; training, youth and walls

Find out more about: BMC specialist committees


Check the latest mountain conditions

CHECK: Snowdon live weather

CHECK: Cwm Idwal (winter conditions)

CHECK: Helvellyn and Great End (winter conditions)


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