The BMC launched its new campaign Hills 2 Oceans (H2O) at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF) to help encourage the nation to remove as much litter and plastic from our hills, mountains and crags as possible so it doesn’t end up in our oceans.
Around 80% of all the debris in our oceans and seas originally comes from inland, according to estimates, so the BMC is asking all its members and the wider public to help reduce this amount by joining an existing litter pick or by organising their own.
There are a number of worthwhile clean up events already happening around the country this year. To make it easier for you to find out about them, we brought all the details together in one place on our events calendar.
The BMC is also keen for members and the wider public to take the initiative and organise their own event. Whether you simply take a bag and a litter picker with you next time you go to your local crag or wish to arrange a clean-up event of the entire Pennine Way with your friends, family or local club, the BMC can help. Details of how to arrange a successful event can be found in our resource pack along with a template risk assessment. We will also provide handheld litter pickers (that can be recycled once they are no longer in use) and re-useable, biodegradable bin bags.
DOWNLOAD: The H2O Resource Pack
DOWNLOAD: The H2O Risk Assessment Template
Mountains of momentum
Support for the campaign is already gaining backing from the outdoor community and those involved in clean up events.
Dave Turnbull, BMC CEO, said: “We all know that the amount of plastic and waste that ends up in our oceans is a global problem so we are encouraging the outdoor community to get out there and remove as much litter from our mountains as possible – we all have a role to play.”
Kate Worthington, director and mountain leader at RAW Adventures and long-standing volunteer organiser of the #Real3Peaks Challenge deep clean on Snowdon, said: “Many hundreds of volunteers and numerous conservation and environmental organisations already play a big part in helping to spread positive behaviour messages, as well as physically clearing up discarded items found. It’s an on-going challenge within a ‘disposable-loving’ society generally.
“We can all do something to help a local, national and global issue by setting high expectations of ourselves and others with regards to the choices we make when purchasing, consuming and processing food and drink items when we’ve finished with them. I’m really pleased to see the BMC commanding a voice on this subject and looking to support many existing local and national clean-up schemes and awareness campaigns, because we’re all working towards a common goal.”
Jack Middleton, community manager with Surfers Against Sewage, said: “We are excited to be working with the BMC to stop plastic pollution from reaching our coastlines. Our Big Spring Beach Clean: Summit To Sea will see us working in collaboration with the BMC on its Hills 2 Oceans campaign to create the biggest network of community mobilisation from mountain tops to beach fronts across the UK.”
We would love to hear from anyone that is about to undertake a litter pick. In particular, where you go, how much rubbish you remove and if you find anything of interest. You can do this by sharing your stories with us on our dedicated Facebook Group.
If you or your organisation have already arranged a litter pick and would like us to add it to our event calendar, please drop details in an email to email@example.com.
The BMC has also joined other leading environmental charities, coordinated by Wildlife and Countryside Link to urge Government to phase out all non-essential single-use plastics by 2025 to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution. This could save more than 4,000 billion pieces of unnecessary single-use plastic waste being consumed in the UK between 2026-2042, helping to slash the ‘toxic plastic soup’ ending up in our oceans, rivers and countryside.
The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) has launched the first of its two annual public online votes to help it choose which conservation projects to support. To launch its new Plastic Free: Mountain to Sea focus, this funding round only highlights projects which tackle plastic pollution – involving mass clean up events, education and campaigns to change people’s behaviours and attitudes to plastic waste. Please visit their website for more information.
The Access and Conservation Trust
The BMC's charity – the BMC Access & Conservation Trust – promotes sustainable access to cliffs, mountains and open countryside by facilitating education and conservation projects across the United Kingdom and Ireland.
By educating climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers to enjoy outdoor recreation while minimising their impact on the landscape, conserving the UK’s upland resources, and campaigning for improved access rights, ACT enables future generations to continue to enjoy outdoor activities and the physical, mental and social benefits they bring to individual lives and society in general.
WATCH: the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million campaign film