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Last year, Mend Our Mountains raised over £100,000 to repair Britain’s hills and mountains. In 2017 it returns with an ambitious new target

Mend Our Mountains was awarded Campaign of the Year in The Great Outdoors Awards 2016. This year it’s raising its sights ten times higher. Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million aims to raise £1 million for a range of vital path repair projects within Britain’s entire family of 15 National Parks.

Coordinated by the BMC and funded by its charity the BMC Access and Conservation Trust, this major collaborative appeal embraces a sense of collective pride and responsibility for looking after our best-loved landscapes.

The projects supported by Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million will range from the high reaches of the Cairngorms to the gentle coast of the Solent, from England’s highest mountain to the fabled seat of a Welsh giant, from the roof of Dartmoor to one of Scotland’s most popular Munros.

Dave Turnbull, BMC Chief Executive, said: “We are thrilled to be launching Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million today. This is a flagship initiative for the BMC and the BMC Access and Conservation Trust which shows our commitment to safeguard the outdoor and adventurous environment to the benefit of everyone. But it is also a collaborative effort with a UK-wide coalition of organisations, businesses and campaigners, as well as the public. To reach our ambitious target we need everyone to do their bit. We all benefit from these wonderful places and we all have a role to play in looking after them.”

Team effort

The appeal, which will run over the course of a year, will be a team effort by a diverse UK-wide coalition aiming to make a huge positive difference to the landscape.

  • Overall coordination: the BMC
  • Funding: BMC Access and Conservation Trust
  • Headline sponsorship: Costwold Outdoor and Snow+Rock
  • Individual project backing: National Park authorities, outdoor enthusiast groups and charitable trusts
  • In Scotland the project is represented by Mountaineering Scotland

Alan Hinkes OBE commented: “The landscapes within Britain’s National Parks were my inspiration growing up and they became the launch pad for the achievements I went on to have in the highest mountains of the world.

“It might seem like our hills and mountains are small by world standards but they can foster great achievements and they mean a huge amount to the people who live in these islands. We all have a responsibility to take care of them and Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million is a great way of doing that.”

Representatives from the BMC and Peak District National Park watched the airlifting of stone to the site funded by Mend Our Mountains on Kinder Scout. Photo – Adam Long

The path leading to Ringing Roger in the Peak District before and after Mend Our Mountains-funded work. Photo – Peter Judd and Peak District National Park

A proven success

The Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million appeal follows on from the first Mend Our Mountains campaign, a two-month crowdfunding drive which ran in spring 2016 and, thanks to the generosity of the outdoor public, raised £103,832 for mountain paths across England and Wales, garnering national news headlines and raising awareness of the challenges of looking after our most precious landscapes.

The funds raised in this campaign have since contributed to the restoration of seven badly damaged upland sites, with work on the eighth commencing next year.

The Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million website contains more information about the progress of work funded by the first Mend Our Mountains campaign here. The value of the campaign extended beyond the totals given; for example, by funding repairs on Kinder Scout that would not otherwise have happened, catalysing a £27,000 repair drive on Dartmoor, and helping to kickstart work on Snowdon’s Watkin Path.

The projects

The primary projects featured in Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million are:

  • Lake District: Scafell Pike (Total sought: £100,000)
  • Peak District: The Great Ridge (£140,000)
  • Peak District: Cut Gate (£70,000)
  • South Downs: South Downs Way (£100,000)
  • Snowdonia: Cader Idris (£140,000)
  • Loch Lomond & Trossachs: Ben Vane (£40,000)
  • Cairngorms National Park: Beinn a’ Ghlo (£60,000)
  • Exmoor: The Chains (£20,000)
  • Exmoor: Great Bradley Bridge (£20,000)
  • Dartmoor: Nun’s Cross Path (£40,000)
  • Yorkshire Dales: Whernside (£46,000)
  • New Forest: The Lepe Loop trail (£25,000)
  • Brecon Beacons: Bal Mawr (£20,000)

The National Parks of Northumberland, the North York Moors, the Norfolk Broads and the Pembrokeshire Coast will also receive funding from this appeal, but at a lower level than the projects above. By donating to the UK wide appeal through the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million website donors will be benefiting these National Parks.

With Edale behind, A helicopter lowers stone on to the Ringing Roger path leading up to Kinder Scout in the Peak District, a project funded by Mend Our Mountains. Photo – Adam Long

And why are paths important? Robert Macfarlane, acclaimed author of ‘Mountains of the Mind’ and ‘The Old Ways’, adds: “Paths are more than just a means of getting from one place to another. They record our experience of the landscape, inscribe our freedom of the hills, and guide us along life-affirming journeys. But maintaining them requires skill, artistry, expense, and heroic all-weather effort. Support Mend Our Mountains and preserve our ‘Old Ways’ for the future.”

mendmountains.thebmc.co.uk

Images: BMC