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Life-Saving Refuge in the Cairngorms National Park

4th March 2011

The Fords of Avon refuge for walkers and mountaineers in a remote part of the Cairngorms National Park is to be re-built after permission was granted by the Planning Committee of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA).

Meeting in Nethy Bridge today, Friday 4 March 2011, the Committee heard how the existing stone-clad, timber hut in Glen Avon has provided emergency shelter for walkers since it was built by a military unit in 1970 and in that time has saved many lives.

CNPA Board Member and Moray Councillor, Allan Wright, said: “The shelter lies on the historic Lairig and Laoigh walking route from Glenmore to Braemar and I know from personal experience it can be an essential refuge when it’s been difficult or impossible to cross the Avon. Walkers unable to find their way back over Cairngorm to the ski area have also been found at the refuge.

“It will be the first time any improvements have been made to the shelter in 40 years and I have no doubt the improvements will be appreciated by walkers like me for another 40 years to come.”

To ensure it continues to blend into the landscape, the shelter will resemble the existing structure with the natural granite boulders that presently surround it being transferred to the new one. It is to have a new timber structure, damp proof membrane with timber flooring and horizontal timber boarding. The roof will be replaced with steel corrugated roof sheeting and will have some insulation and damp proofing.

Work is expected to start late summer so as not to disturb hill birds.