Mend Our Mountains Aims for £1Million

by Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com 20/Nov/2017
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Mend Our Mountains, a high profile fundraising drive which has already bagged £100,000 for path repair work, has now announced a new target of £1million for projects across the UK.

Running over the course of one year, the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million appeal aims to make a positive difference in each of the UK's 15 National Parks, funding work on some of the country's most heavily used and eroded footpaths.

The collaboration of various groups, which is coordinated by the BMC and funded by its charity the BMC Access and Conservation Trust, is set up to embrace "a sense of collective pride and responsibility for looking after our best-loved landscapes".

The new appeal follows on from the 2016 Mend Our Mountains campaign, a two month drive which netted £103,832 on Crowdfunder for mountain paths across England and Wales (see here), also raising media awareness of the challenges of looking after the uplands.

The funds raised in that campaign have since contributed to the restoration of seven badly damaged sites, from Dartmoor to Snowdon's Watkin Path, with work on an eighth commencing next year.

photo
Carn Liath
© lee birtwistle, Jun 2006

For the next round of fundraising, individual projects across upland UK are being backed by a range of National Park authorities, outdoor enthusiast groups and charitable trusts, while in Scotland the campaign is represented by the BMC's sister organisation, Mountaineering Scotland (see here).

North of the Wall, Mountaineering Scotland and the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland (OATS) are leading a campaign to raise £100,000 to support two high profile mountain path projects:

The first target is one of Scotland's most obviously eroded trails, a highly visible scar up the slopes of Beinn a' Ghlo. The campaign aims to raise £60,000 for this project, which will sensitively restore the route up Carn Liath. The mess here is currently so bad that it is clear from the A9 several kilometers away.

Huge erosion scar on Carn Liath, 228 kb
Huge erosion scar on Carn Liath
© Mountaineering Scotland

The second Scottish target is urgent path repair work on the popular Arrochar Alps peak, Ben Vane, where £40,000 is required to create a long-lasting route on a path that's subject to significant damage, particularly in wet weather

Dougie Baird, Chief Executive of OATS said:

"These are two of the most eroded paths in the UK, and repairing the damage will be so important for both the landscape and the visitor experience. With public funds under so much pressure, it is vital that the public support this type of work and we hope that those who care for the mountains will take this opportunity to give something back."

Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million will run over 12 months, employing a 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. Headline sponsorship is being provided by Cotswold Outdoor and Snow+Rock, the BMC's recommended retail partners.

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