In Perpetual Memory: Scafell Pike

Posted by Inigo Atkin on 25/07/2019
Photo: Matt Gibson/Shutterstock

England’s highest mountain has been a constant headache for its custodians, the National Trust and Fix the Fells, as ever-increasing numbers seek to top England’s highest summit. Yet a poignant anniversary has highlighted the continuing need for large-scale projects to repair and revamp its slopes and pathways.

Last week (19 July) marked a sobering but important date. A century ago, on Peace Day 1919,  Lord Leconfield gave the summit of Scafell Pike to the nation, as a memorial to those who had died fighting ‘the Great War’. It seems unlikely that he or anyone else could have predicted that  one hundred years later, 100,000 people a year would visit the summit of Scafell Pike, to glory in England’s tallest mountain.

Though the memory of two World Wars lives on, the majority of pleasure-seeking walkers and hikers today probably have no idea that they are stepping onto what has been called ‘the world’s greatest war memorial’.

100,000 pairs of boots a year make a big impact, and the state of the paths on Scafell Pike has long been a cause of concern for Fix the Fells, the partnership organisation set up by the National Trust and others to maintain and protect the Lake District’s ever-popular path network. Since the 1980s, some level of work on Scafell Pike has been required every year, and the rate of use and erosion has only accelerated.

WATCH: Mend our Mountains Lake District clip on BMC TV

Nowadays a team of four rangers ostensibly covers the Wasdale and Eskdale area, but in reality their primary area of work is invariably Scafell Pike. An annual helilift brings in stone for repairs (a measure that is unique to the situation on Scafell Pike) and the work is near-constant. Nowhere else in the UK, except perhaps on Snowdon, are such challenging conditions present when balancing the need to conserve the natural environment with accessibility to the public.

That balance is only achievable with substantial levels of investment, and the upkeep of England’s highest mountain was a big priority within the BMC’s Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million campaign. £100,000 for 100,000 walkers and 100 years - it seemed appropriate! The money that thousands of donors provided was boosted by substantial sums from Smartwool (via the European Outdoor Conservation Association) and HF Holidays Pathways Fund.

When combined with generous contributions to Fix the Fells, we were able to hit the £100,000 target earlier this year, and this money has already been put to good use as part of the rolling programs of works. 

Find out more

To find out more about the work, check out Fix the Fells and if you are impressed by what Mend Our Mountains achieved and want to keep supporting this work, do consider donating to the BMC’s charity, the Access and Conservation Trust, to help us make projects like this possible in the future.


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.

READ: More about the recent work of ACT

WATCH: the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million campaign film


« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 2624 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

Something for everyone: Dartmoor's resurgence
1
Something for everyone: Dartmoor's resurgence

The Nuns Cross Path is used by more than 30,000 walkers and 10,000 mountain bikers, as well as horse riders, disabled ‘trampers’ and many others each year - it is a shining example of the accessible but wild landscape Dartmoor can be. But a combination of extreme weather, like the storms of winter 2014, and erosion damage had taken its toll over the years. In stepped the BMC's Mend Our Mountains campaign.
Read more »

Take A Walk on the Wild Side: Mountain Mending in the Scottish Highlands
0
Take A Walk on the Wild Side: Mountain Mending in the Scottish Highlands

It’s a little different north of the border...especially when you’re in the mountains. Inigo Atkin takes us on a journey where Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million has helped leave a lasting legacy on some of the highest peaks not only in Scotland, but in the whole of the British Isles.
Read more »

Mend Our Mountains to repair two iconic Peak District paths
3
Mend Our Mountains to repair two iconic Peak District paths

Two of the most popular and heavily eroded routes in the Peak District national park are set to be repaired with the help of £175,000 from the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million fundraising appeal.
Read more »

Post a Comment

Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
0

There are currently no comments, why not add your own?

RELATED ARTICLES

Something for everyone: Dartmoor's resurgence
1

The Nuns Cross Path is used by more than 30,000 walkers and 10,000 mountain bikers, as well as horse riders, disabled ‘trampers’ and many others each year - it is a shining example of the accessible but wild landscape Dartmoor can be. But a combination of extreme weather, like the storms of winter 2014, and erosion damage had taken its toll over the years. In stepped the BMC's Mend Our Mountains campaign.
Read more »

Take A Walk on the Wild Side: Mountain Mending in the Scottish Highlands
0

It’s a little different north of the border...especially when you’re in the mountains. Inigo Atkin takes us on a journey where Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million has helped leave a lasting legacy on some of the highest peaks not only in Scotland, but in the whole of the British Isles.
Read more »

Mend Our Mountains to repair two iconic Peak District paths
3

Two of the most popular and heavily eroded routes in the Peak District national park are set to be repaired with the help of £175,000 from the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million fundraising appeal.
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £16.97.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »