The BMC Access and Conservation Trust has helped to fund a new website which aims to reduce the negative impact of the national Three Peaks Challenge.
This weekend saw the summer solstice, and the high point of the season for the famous Three Peaks Challenge, which involves trying to walk up the highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales in one 24 hour period.
The adventure of tackling Britain’s highest summits provides an introduction to the great outdoors for many people, but litter, noise, erosion, road risk, parking problems and poor sanitation are just some of the problems it throws up.
The Three Peaks Partnership website is designed to raise awareness of these problems by providing practical information alongside guidance on responsible behaviour. Participants are also encouraged to register their challenges, enabling the organisations which manage the mountains to plan their efforts.
The hope is that this new website will become the first stop for people thinking of doing the challenge, whether as organisers, fundraisers or ordinary participants.
The BMC contributed £3,000 towards the cost of the website through our charity, the BMC Access and Conservation Trust (ACT). It 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).
Three co-ordinated ‘Mountain Care’ days were held across the three mountains in spring to highlight the launch of the new initiative. To read more about these, see the news section of the Three Peaks Partnership website.
Rob Dyer, BMC Access and Conservation Officer, said: “The new Three Peaks Partnership website is a fantastic resource, bringing the information needed to organise the challenge together in one place.
“Some may view the website as further promotion of an already very busy challenge, but gone are the days of simply saying ‘don’t do it’. The approach taken by this site, and supported by the BMC and ACT, is to accept that the challenge is so well known that numbers are unlikely to decrease, so educating participants and organisers is now crucial.
“The aim of the website is to reduce the impacts the challenge has on local communities and the mountain landscape, whilst helping participants to enjoy the experience by preparing them with realistic information about the level of difficulty they should expect and the skills they will need.
“To have all the relevant information needed about each of the three mountains in one easily accessible site is a great step forward and hopefully will help people’s challenges run more smoothly and with lower impact for this and future Three Peaks seasons.”
The website contains useful route maps, environmental information, health and safety tips and a simple one-stop registration process.
Thousands of people each year attempt the challenge. The longer days of summer see numbers taking part rising dramatically. While it is a popular and successful fundraising activity for a range of charities, there is a knock-on cost for the conservation charities that care for the landscape.
To find out more about the negative impact of the Three Peaks Challenge, read this BMC article: Three Peaks Challenge: Controlling the Chaos in Wasdale
Find out more about the BMC Access and Conservation Trust