Three co-ordinated Mountain Care days are being held across the highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales this weekend, cleaning out cross-drains, clearing litter and carrying out routine path maintenance. The purpose of the activity is to highlight the launch of a new piece of ‘kit’ for charity challengers.
The new kit won’t be found on the slopes of Britain’s favourite mountains, but online, as a central resource with useful route maps, environmental information, health and safety tips and a simple one stop registration process.
Thousands of people each year scale Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon, with many trying to summit all three peaks in one trip. The longer days of summer see the numbers taking part rising dramatically, with consequent impacts on the paths and nearby communities.
The Three Peaks Partnership aims to reduce physical and environmental impacts on the peaks and their surrounding communities.
Now a new website – www.threepeakspartnership.co.uk – has been created by the guardians of each respective peak: the John Muir Trust, the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre (Ben Nevis); the National Trust in the Lake District (Scafell); and Snowdonia National Park Authority (Snowdon).
The website – backed by funding from the British Mountaineering Council – is aimed at anyone preparing to tackle the Three Peaks Challenge whether as a professional challenge organiser, a fundraiser or a participant.
It will also be the place where participants can register their challenge, demonstrating their commitment to sustainable competition and helping enhance their experience on the mountain. Groups of ten or more are strongly encouraged to register.
Sarah Lewis, Conservation Officer for the John Muir Trust says: “The website has all of the best practice steps you can take to reducing path erosion, habitat degradation and congestion. It will be the place to find out how to get involved, and how to give back – whether that’s volunteering for a day caring for the landscape, or getting involved with a local project. We’ll also be providing lots of local information so people can prepare themselves for conditions on the hill.”
Helen Pye, Area Warden, Snowdonia National Park Authority says: “The key to an enjoyable and successful challenge is in the pre-planning and that’s where we’re here to help. At weekends especially, parking and litter can be a huge problem. There’s detailed info and advice on our new website as to how to plan for parking and for litter disposal.
“The Three Peaks Challenge is a popular and successful fundraising activity for a range of charities. However, there is a net cost for the conservation charities that care for the landscape. Path erosion is significant, as is the loss of habitat which reduces the natural diversity of the mountains.”