Mend Our Mountains returns with £1 million target for Britain’s best-loved landscapes

Posted by Carey Davies on 16/11/2017

The award-winning, headline-grabbing campaign which raised more than £100,000 to repair Britain’s hills and mountains has returned – and is raising its sights ten times higher.

Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million aims to raise £1 million in total for a range of vital path repair projects within Britain’s entire family of 15 National Parks.
 
The major collaborative appeal coordinated by the BMC and funded by its charity (the BMC Access and Conservation Trust) embraces a sense of collective pride and responsibility for looking after our best-loved landscapes. It goes live today with the launch of a dedicated website: www.mendmountains.thebmc.co.uk.
 

Team effort

The projects supported by Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million will range from the high reaches of the Cairngorms to the gentle coast of the Solent; from England’s highest mountain to the fabled seat of a Welsh giant; from the roof of Dartmoor to one of Scotland’s most well-trodden Munros.
 
 
 
Read more about the featured projects and their supporters by navigating the homepage of the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million website.
 
To be run over the course of the year, the appeal will be a team effort by a diverse UK-wide coalition which aims to make a huge positive difference to the landscapes we all value and the paths we all use.
 
Overall coordination is provided by the BMC, funding comes from the BMC’s charity (the BMC Access and Conservation Trust), and headline sponsorship is generously provided by Cotswold Outdoor and Snow+Rock, two of Britain’s leading outdoor retailers and the BMC’s recommended retail partners.
 
Individual projects are backed by a range of National Park authorities, outdoor enthusiast groups and charitable trusts, and in Scotland the campaign is represented by the BMC’s sister organisation, Mountaineering Scotland.  
 

A proven success

The Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million appeal follows on from the first Mend Our Mountains campaign, a two month crowdfunding drive which ran in spring 2016 and, thanks to the generosity of the outdoor public, raised £103,832 for mountain paths across England and Wales, garnering national news headlines and raising awareness of the challenges of looking after our most precious landscapes.
 
The funds raised in this campaign have since contributed to the restoration of seven badly damaged upland sites, with work on the eighth commencing next year. The Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million website contains more information about the progress of work funded by the first Mend Our Mountains campaign.
 
The value of the campaign extended beyond the totals given, for example by funding repairs on Kinder Scout which would not otherwise have happened, catalysing a £27,000 repair drive on Dartmoor, and  helping to kickstart work on Snowdon’s Watkin Path.
 
 
Mend Our Mountains was voted ‘Campaign of the Year’ by the public in the annual awards run by The Great Outdoors magazine. Its proven positive impact and tangible success has laid the groundwork which Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million seeks to build upon.
 

Timeline

Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million will run over 12 months. It will employ a wide range of fundraising techniques in addition to crowdfunding, from harnessing the generosity of ‘ordinary’ outdoor enthusiasts to drawing in money and support from large businesses, corporate donors and charitable foundations.
 
Today sees the announcement of the intention to raise £1 million and the details of the supported projects made public. While members of the public can donate through the website from today onwards, the appeal is divided into three phases.
 
 
Phase 1 will run between now and the spring of next year, during which time our fundraising focus will be on drawing in large donations from high net worth individuals, businesses and grant-giving bodies. The start of Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million will be marked with a large parliamentary reception in Westminster on Monday November 20 aimed at galvanising support for the first phase of the appeal.
 
Phase 2 will run over the spring and summer of 2018 and will see the main drive to encourage the public at large to donate.
 
Phase 3 will run in the autumn of 2018 and will see a crowdfunding ‘crescendo’ aimed at raising the remaining sum of money.
 
We encourage everyone to donate today if they are able, but also to keep an eye on BMC and National Park media over the course of the year for more information about how they can get involved as the campaign progresses and develops. 
 

The projects

The primary projects featured in Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million are:
  • Lake District: Scafell Pike (Total sought: £100,000)
  • Peak District: The Great Ridge (£140,000)
  • Peak District: Cut Gate (£70,000)
  • South Downs: South Downs Way (£100,000)
  • Snowdonia: Cader Idris (£140,000)
  • Loch Lomond & Trossachs: Ben Vane (£40,000)
  • Cairngorms National Park: Beinn a’ Ghlo (£60,000)
  • Exmoor: The Chains (£20,000)
  • Exmoor: Great Bradley Bridge (£20,000)
  • Dartmoor: Nun’s Cross Path (£40,000)
  • Yorkshire Dales: Whernside (£46,000)
  • New Forest: The Lepe Loop trail (£25,000)
  • Brecon Beacons: Bal Mawr (£20,000)
The National Parks of Northumberland, the North York Moors, the Norfolk Broads and the Pembrokeshire Coast will also receive funding from this appeal, but at a lower level than the projects above. By donating to the UK wide appeal through the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million website donors will be benefitting these National Parks.
 
 

Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million at a glance

  • 13 ‘primary’ projects included across England, Wales and Scotland in a diverse variety of locations. Every UK National Park to benefit.
  • Totals to be raised range from £20,000 to £140,000.
  • Campaign to run for 12 months, and be split into three phases.
  • Goes live today with the launch of the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million website: www.mendmountains.thebmc.co.uk.
  • Will build on the success of the last Mend Our Mountains campaign, which raised £103,862 for eight key upland path repair sites, garnered national news headlines, and had a wider galvanising effect.
  • A major collaborative effort coordinated by BMC and funded by the BMC Access and Conservation Trust, but run in collaboration with over 20 partner organisations.
  • Headline sponsorship provided by Cotswold Outdoor and Snow+Rock, the BMC’s recommended retail partners.

Quotes

Alan Hinkes OBE, the only Briton to have summited all 14 of the world’s peaks above 8,000 metres
 
“The landscapes within Britain’s National Parks were my inspiration growing up and they became the launch pad for the achievements I went on to have in the highest mountains of the world.
 
“It might seem like our hills and mountains are small by world standards but they can foster great achievements and they mean a huge amount to the people who live in these islands. We all have a responsibility to take care of them and Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million is a great way of doing that.”
 
Dave Turnbull, BMC Chief Executive
 
“We are thrilled to be launching Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million today. This is a flagship initiative for the BMC and the BMC Access and Conservation Trust which shows our commitment to safeguard the outdoor and adventurous environment to the benefit of everyone. But it is also a collaborative effort with a UK-wide coalition of organisations, businesses and campaigners, as well as the public. To reach our ambitious target we need everyone to do their bit. We all benefit from these wonderful places and we all have a role to play in looking after them.”
 
Sarah Fowler, Peak District National Park CEO 
 
“The Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million campaign is a fantastic opportunity for the Peak District National Park to raise vital funds for path repair work on two really popular and iconic routes in our National Park, The Great Ridge and Cut Gate.  I welcome this initiative by the BMC to encourage people inspired by the UK’s 15 beautiful National Park landscapes to make much needed donations to help us care for them.”
 
Greg Nieuwenhuys, CEO at Outdoor and Cycle Concepts, the parent company of both Cotswold Outdoor and Snow+Rock
 
“We are delighted to cement our partnership with the BMC through the headline sponsorship of their Mend our Mountains: Make One Million campaign. This enables us to further engage with the British climbing and hill walking community, as well as supporting the fantastic work the BMC undertake to ensure continued access to the landscapes so many of us hold so dear.”
 
Robert Macfarlane, acclaimed author of ‘Mountains of the Mind’ and ‘The Old Ways’ 
 
“Paths are more than just a means of getting from one place to another. They record our experience of the landscape, inscribe our freedom of the hills, and guide us along life-affirming journeys. But maintaining them requires skill, artistry, expense, and heroic all-weather effort. Support Mend Our Mountains and preserve our ‘Old Ways’ for the future.”
 
Steve Backshall, BAFTA award-winning presenter and naturalist
 
“Mountains delight the human spirit, and represent the most vital wilderness areas of our often crowded islands. When you’re in the hills, the temptation is to revel in their freedom, but in places of high use, there have to be maintained thoroughfares, or fragile mountain ecosystems will simply be eroded away.”
 
Mary Ann Ochota, broadcaster, anthropologist and BMC hill walking ambassador
 
“Today more people than ever are experiencing the joy of the outdoors. More UK adults
regularly go hill walking or climbing than regularly participate in golf, tennis and rugby put together. The accumulated benefit of this activity to the heath, happiness and general wellbeing of wider society is incalculable. Taking care of paths is a way of ensuring this huge positive effect is sustainable for future generations.” 

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