Britain's only daily working sled-dog centre is shutting its doors because of climate change.

Cairngorm Sled-dog Centre owner Alan Stewart said there was simply not enough snow to continue.

He and his wife Fiona – who have welcomed Sir David Attenborough and Bear Grylls to their centre at Rothiemurchus Estate, near Aviemore, over their 19 years of operation – will call it a day in April.

“Climate change has finished us off. I could see it coming six years ago. There is no snow – it’s not rocket science,” said Mr Stewart, 64.

“We moved from the west coast 20 years ago because we could get five months of snow – now we just have mud.

“To train dogs professionally you need several months of snow – but even in Europe you cannot get enough snow.

“In British Columbia – where my son raced two years ago – they are having to ship in snow by lorries.

“I don’t see a future for Scottish ski resorts. Skiing in Scotland is finished, completely and utterly finished.

“I have 20 dogs left and my youngest is 10 years old and they will stay with me until they die – 100 per cent.”

To mark the end of an era, Mr Stewart – who works as an offshore diving supervisor – is hosting an evening with friends and some of the world’s leading winter explorers, mushers and divers at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort in Aviemore next week.

Come April the adventure centre will return to its original use as solely for kennels where Mr Stewart’s remaining Alaskan husky sled dogs will live out the rest of their days.

He said: “Climate change started affecting the centre and the last few years the temperatures have been rising even quicker.

“Conditioning the dogs for winter takes around two months but they do not run in temperatures over 10C.

“These days the trails never get the chance to dry up and trees come down due to soft ground. We even train with a chainsaw onboard.

“I sold the snowmobile six years ago just after the last time we had snow that lasted for a fortnight. Ever since then if it snows it melts within a day, turning the tracks into mud.

“The dog yard never dries out, and it really has been a 24/7 job to keep going.

“The writing was on the wall for our sport when sleds gave way to rig racing in mid-winter.”

His son John, 34, became one of the best mushers in the world. John made his name racing for Streeper Kennels of Fort Nelson, British Columbia.

In 2014 he became the first Briton to win the Canadian Open – an 11-mile sprint across British Columbia.

Mr Stewart was joined by his son in the biggest sled-dog race in South America, spanning 650 miles in Argentina, when John was aged 11.

In 2010 John was the youngest to qualify for the 1150-mile Iditarod race from Anchorage to Nome in Alaska, taking place in sub-zero temperatures and across extreme terrain.

He first started sled-dog racing when he was just six. The Stewarts have worked with sled dogs from some of the best lines in the world from Canada and the United States for nearly 30 years.

Speaking about the centre’s farewell night with friends on February 8, Mr Stewart said: “The event is to mark the end of the sled-dog centre with some of my close friends coming from all over Europe.

“I’m very lucky in life when it comes to human friends and great dogs. “The main thing is that it’s a great way to remember all my wonderful canines dead or alive who made the centre. It’s been a massive privilege.

“I still get goosebumps when I walk into my dog yard every morning when they all greet me and say let’s get out on that trail.”

Among the speakers on the evening will be Norwegian polar explorer, photographer and writer Boerge Ousland who, along with Mike Horn, in 2006 became the first man to travel without dog or motorised transport to the North Pole during winter, in permanent darkness.

The explorer has just recently returned from trekking hundreds of miles in the Arctic – a trip which nearly claimed his life. Mr Ousland and Mr Horn, from South African, were running out of food on the epic journey covering about 1,800km (1,120 miles) on treacherous drifting ice. They had just a few days’ supply of food left but managed to meet up with two Norwegians sent to rescue them despite a local storm.