The Mountaineering All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) exists to promote the sporting and recreational interests of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers; to raise awareness of the physical and social benefits of mountaineering; and to campaign for sustainable access to cliffs, mountains and open countryside.
Mountaineering APPG Walk 2017
MPs took to the hills on Friday 8th September 2017, to walk the Great Ridge, in the Peak District with the BMC and Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) on the annual walk of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Mountaineering (Mountaineering APPG).
The walk came ahead of the launch of Mend Our Mountains 2 campaign, which will get underway later this year. This is an ambitious follow-up to the hugely successful Mend Our Mountains campaign which the BMC ran in 2016, to raise funds to help restore footpaths in eight National Parks across the UK.
Visitor numbers are increasing hugely in National Parks. Outdoor activities and walking are becoming much more popular, benefitting local communities where people visit. However, funding cuts, flooding, increased pressure and erosion are taking their toll on footpaths in the National Parks.
The BMC represents a growing membership of 85,000 keen hill walkers, climbers and mountaineers. Mend Our Mountains was conceived to begin to fix some of the problems arising in National Parks, which needed repair but lacked the funding to do so effectively. The BMC saw that it was time to put something back, restoring the paths and fixing the damage, as this cause is relevant to the outdoor public. Mend Our Mountains enables people to make a positive difference, to be part of the solution to issues that they may have contributed to, taking responsibility for the places they love and cherish; raising funds and being part of the collective effort to provide solutions to visible problems. The campaign allows the public to get involved with making outdoor activities sustain themselves.
Four MPs, including John Mann (Bassetlaw); local MPs Ruth George (High Peak) and David Rutley (Macclesfield); and Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South) walked alongside key PDNPA staff, BMC and OIA representatives.
The walk followed the route from Mam Tor to Back Tor, high above Edale, providing MPs the opportunity to walk this very popular pathway, gaining an understanding of the issues in the area and to discuss how the planned restoration work could benefit the area on eroding sections. Mend Our Mountains 2 aims to raise £1 Million for 18 essential path repair projects across England, Scotland and Wales.
Estée Farrar, BMC Access & Conservation policy officer said: “The Mountaineering APPG walk was a positive step to gaining political support for the essential work envisaged by Mend Our Mountains 2. The meeting also enabled MPs to see problems on the ground and to discuss potential solutions, gaining an understanding of the work and costs involved. It has helped build relationships between the BMC and PDNPA and gained political support from local MPs for the Mend Our Mountains 2 campaign”.
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