It has been a good few years since I last ventured into the wild upper reaches of Glen Prosen. If memory services, I passed through on a descent from Driesh via the Kilbo Path, emerging from forestry to cross Prosen Water by an old metal girder slung across the tumbling flow before resting by the remnants of Kilbo Bothy, a former shelter used by shepherds.
Hiking up the glen the other day, en route to Craigie Thieves and the hills on the south side of the valley, I discovered a completely different scene to the one I remembered. Not only has the forestry flanking the Kilbo Path on King’s Seat been felled but Kilbo Bothy (NO 249707) has risen from its ruins, rebuilt as a shelter and lunch hut for shooting and stalking parties. And, where once the old girder offered a crossing point, there is now a wooden bridge, linking tracks that run further up the glen, serving a hydro development.
The new bothy, which is securely locked and shuttered, stands on the footprint of the old refuge and incorporates much of its stone while the outlines of adjoining enclosures remain. In addition to the main building, a timber-clad lean-to has been added at the back, housing toilets and a small kitchen.
According to Cairngorms National Park Authority documents, Glenprosen Estate received planning permission for the project in March 2012. Work was complete by the end of 2015. A photo of ruined Kilbo can be found here.