The BMC: with walkers all the way

Posted by Tina Gardner on 09/07/2013

The BMC isn’t just for climbers – that’s the message behind a new push to raise awareness of the BMC’s work for hill walkers and its stance on a range of topical issues affecting hill walkers.

Led by the BMC’s new hill walking development officer, Carey Davies, the BMC will roll out a 12-week series of web articles and social media initiatives focusing on a different topic each week – all under the banner BMC on Foot.
 
‘BMC on Foot’ is part of the Britain on Foot campaign, recently launched to get Britain active in the outdoors and enjoying the health benefits of activities such as hill walking. The BMC is a key supporter of Britain on Foot. 
 
Carey says: “The BMC is going big on hill walking this summer. The idea is that by the end of the summer, new and experienced hill walkers will have a much better idea of the work we do on their behalf.  Hopefully it will stimulate debate and galvanise opinion at a time when a huge range of environmental, economic and political changes are taking place which could have a major impact on the countryside we know and love.
 
“From our work in Westminster to our approach to the controversial but popular Three Peaks Challenge, from wind farms to the on-going wrangles over coastal access, we’re aiming to shed light on the ways we work to affect and improve the world of walking.
 
“As part of our support for the Britain on Foot campaign we’ll also explain what the BMC is doing to support people taking their first steps into hill walking and show more people the benefits of an active, outdoor lifestyle.
 
Carey adds: “We’re hoping to remind hill walkers that the BMC is a relevant organisation for them to join and to encourage people to get involved in their local areas. We want to get everyday hill walkers interacting with us. Watch this space and keep checking the BMC website, Twitter and Facebook for updates throughout the summer.”
 
In support of the BMC’s work for hill walkers, Alan Hinkes, first Briton to climb all 14 mountains higher than 8,000 metres, said:  “Maintaining access to wild land and paths is important to all hill walkers. Access and Conservation is one of the BMC's most valuable and important functions - funding footpath repair and restoration work and keeping the hills open for all of us.”
 
To get the ball rolling this summer, the BMC has launched an online survey to gather information and feedback from the hill walking community.  
 
Week 1 - Introducing BMC on Foot
  • Five great reasons to join the BMC as a hill walker - Get involved with our campaigning work, meet up with other outdoorgoers, increase your voice in the world of politics and Westminster, boost your knowledge, get inspiration, and save all-important pennies on equipment and travel.
 
Week 2 - Paths
  • BMC funds Scafell Pike path work - A Fix the Fells path project to help protect the Scafell Pike plateau has been completed thanks to funding from the BMC’s Access & Conservation Trust (ACT). Plus find out about other footpath projects funded by ACT.
  • Waymarks on Snowdon - a sign of things to come? Thirteen stone pillars have recently been erected on Snowdon to direct walkers along popular paths. Have we reached a turning point where waymarking of mountains is now considered acceptable? Or is Snowdon a special case? We investigate the issues.
 
Week 3 - The coast
  • Coastal access: vital to the nation - The BMC is urging MPs to keep pushing forward the England Coast Path and the right of walkers and climbers to access to the ‘coastal margin’ amid concerns the plans are stalling under the current government.
  • Five weird and unusual coastal walks - Walk the path dubbed the deadliest in Britain, receive a knighthood for the cost of a round of drinks, and literally walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs – just some of the weird and wonderful experiences to be had on our coast.

Week 4 - National Parks
  • National Parks: are they doing a good job? National Parks are facing some of the biggest challenges since they were created more than six decades ago. But are they fulfilling their original aims? We put the question out there.

Week 5 - Health

  • Six surprising scientific facts about walking - It helps you cope at work, 'heals' your brain, makes you more creative and it could even be better for you than running. To support Britain on Foot, here are six ways walking could be more powerful than you realise.


Week 6 - Travel


Week 7 - Stanage

  • Stand up for Stanage. Climbers, walkers and everybody with a love for Stanage Edge, please sign our petition to help safeguard the future of the North Lees Estate.


Week 8 -  Media spin on popular peaks

  • Queue for the Summit: when mountains go viral - What happens when a mountain becomes a meme? You get predictable headlines about overcrowding and ill-prepared novices – and calls to change the rules. But, as Ed Douglas explains, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

Week 9 - The BMC's work in parliament

  • Party time for the BMC Access Manifesto - A new BMC Access Manifesto calling for more government support for countryside access and recreation sent to MPs to consider during the party conference season.

Week 10 - Hydro power

Week 11 - Challenge events

  • The Three Peaks - What do you think? - Is the Three Peaks Challenge an epic achievement, a littering nuisance, or both? As the clean-ups begin on the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales after another summer of huge numbers, we take a look at the controversy surrounding Britain's most famous mountain challenge and ask for your views.
  • Britain's nine most epic challenge walks - Between now and next summer, thousands of bored people stood around water coolers or sat in pubs will think of doing a challenge walk. Here are a few of the most most gruelling, exhausting, rewarding and brilliant ones Britain has to offer (and none involve 450-odd miles of driving!)

Week 12 - Survey results

  • Hill walkers have spoken - We have had a fantastic response to the BMC Hill Walking Survey, with more than 2,000 people taking the time to fill it in. Here is a snapshot of some of the feedback we gathered.


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