The BMC’s groundbreaking crowdfunding drive for upland paths, Mend Our Mountains, has been voted ‘Campaign of the Year’ by the outdoor public. Here’s a look back at the campaign and an update on how work is progressing with the funded projects.
Mend Our Mountains was the most successful crowdfunding appeal for mountain paths ever, raising £103,832 to help repair damaged paths on eight of Britain’s most popular peaks.
Now it has been voted the ‘Campaign of the Year’ in the annual awards run by The Great Outdoors magazine, which commend the organisations, businesses and gear which have made the most positive difference to people’s outdoor experiences.
The John Muir Trust picked up the 'Highly Commended' award for important work in protecting Britain's wild land.
Run over 10 weeks in the spring of this year in conjunction with eight national parks, money raised from Mend Our Mountains went to fix eroded mountain paths on Snowdon, Scafell Pike, Ingleborough, Kinder Scout and part of the Brecon Beacons Horseshoe, as well as funding vital repairs to moorland on Dartmoor, Exmoor and the North York Moors.
BMC hill walking officer Carey Davies talks about the campaign at the ceremony in Kendal
Mend Our Mountains also grabbed the attention of the national media, including The Times, BBC Breakfast News, Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live, raising awareness of the tight funding situation for national parks and the challenges of looking after precious landscapes.
A Scafell-Pike sized thanks to everyone who voted for us and, of course, all those who pledged towards the campaign.
Watch this space for Mend Our Mountains: the sequel!
The projects: where are they now?
Work on the Swine Tail path below the summit of Ingleborough (Mend the Yorkshire Dales) wrapped up recently, with more than 300 metres worth of airlifted stone flags being laid down and what ranger Josh Hull described as a “serious amount” of landscaping being done to repair the heavily eroded scar which had grown around the previous path.
Being on the route of the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge, it is one of the most heavily pounded upland paths in England, with more than 60,000 walkers using it every year. See pictures and video of the airlift and work on the Three Peaks Ranger Facebook page.
The Swine Tail: before and after
Work to control erosion on one of the busiest mountains route in England, the Brown Tongue path going up Scafell Pike, has also been completed (Mend the Lake District). Pictures and updates from this will follow soon.
A recent sunny autumn day saw a specially chartered helicopter lift more than 40 tonnes of locally-quarried gritstone up from Edale to commence work on the badly scarred path below the spectacular wind-sculpted rocks of Ringing Roger (Mend the Peak District).
WATCH: Mend Our Mountains in action on Kinder Scout
And back in August, a similar airlift got work underway to repair a churned-up path through a remote pass near Long Chains Combe in Exmoor National Park (Mend Exmoor).
The long-awaited repairs to the top of the Watkin Path (Mend Snowdonia) have been deferred as bad weather has prevented the necessary helicopter airlift to get the stone to the high-altitude site, just below the summit of Wales’ highest mountain.
Mend Dartmoor, Mend The Brecon Beacons and Mend The North York Moors are all in progress, and we will provide more updates when the work is completed.
Although the crowdfunding campaign has finished, you can still donate to Mend Our Mountains through Paypal here. The money will support future Mend Our Mountains initiatives – watch this space!
We repeat our huge thanks to the BMC staff and volunteers who made Mend Our Mountains happen, as well as the many national parks, individuals, companies, local businesses, accommodation providers, guides and others who donated crowdfunding rewards to use across the campaign.
These included Cotswold Outdoor, Alpkit, Steep Edge, DMM, Tentmeals, Vertebrate, Tessa Lyons, Terry Abraham, Chris Townsend, James McHaffie, Peak Mountaineering, Peak Walking Adventures, Underleigh House B&B, Wheeldon Trees Farm cottage, Cloud Loft cottage, Snowdonia Walking and Climbing, Higher Climbing, Calum Muskett, The National Trust, Mountain Yak, Plas y Brenin, Yorkshire Dales Guides, Damart, Skyware, the King William Guest House, Adventures With Will, Borderlands Outdoor, Black Mountain Activities, Kevin Walker Mountain Activities, The Tour of Britain, Tri The Beast, Cicerone, Trailblazer, Encounter Walking Holidays, XMAN XXX, Exmoor Stargazers, and all the national park teams who contributed rewards themselves.
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