Sir Chris Bonington, Doug Scott CBE and Julia Bradbury are backing a major new BMC campaign to raise money for environmental projects on some of Britain’s most iconic peaks
Working with eight national park authorities, the British Mountaineering Council’s newly launched Mend Our Mountains scheme aims to raise more than £100,000 for path repair projects on some of Britain’s most iconic peaks.
The funds will be directed towards Snowdon and Scafell Pike, Ingleborough, Kinder Scout and part of the Brecon Beacons Horseshoe, as well as to moorland on Dartmoor, Exmoor and the North York Moors.
Due to launch on 14 March, this is a fundraising appeal with a difference. It will be powered by crowd funding, with donors receiving a reward in return for their pledge. These rewards will include personal experiences donated by outdoor personalities and mountaineers such as Sir Chris Bonington and others.
Those who donate will have a choice of either giving their money to an individual project featured in the campaign or to an overall total which will be split between the eight projects. Many of the projects, like Snowdon’s Watkin Path and Kinder Scout’s Ringing Roger, will not go ahead if they do not reach their Mend Our Mountains target.
The Great Outdoors columnist Carey Davies, who is joint Mend Our Mountains campaign coordinator, said: “More people experiencing the outdoors is good news, improving our collective health, enriching our culture, encouraging engagement with nature, and keeping rural economies alive. But it puts pressure on the landscape.
“One of the biggest and most expensive problems to manage is erosion. In the past in popular places like the Yorkshire Dales, some of these scars caused by countless feet have grown to up to 30 metres, motorways of damage as wide as parts of the M1.
“To manage this problem needs effective intervention, usually through the construction of paths, which help to heal the mountain landscape and protect habitats and wildlife. But they are not cheap to construct. And in these straitened times, where austerity is the mantra, money is in increasingly short supply.”
Sir Chris Bonington, renowned British mountaineer, added: “Footpath work is essential to look after our mountains. Without it many routes in places like the Lake District would become huge scars or rivers of scree.”
Mend our Mountains will go live on 14 March at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/mendourmountains and will run for two months.
Words: Isobel Duxfield