Mountaineering body to publish good-practice guide for fundraisers to protect UK hillsides

The British Mountaineering Council has responded to an increase in problems such as traffic, littering and people defecating on the mountainside

Mountaineering challenge
Mountaineering challenge

The British Mountaineering Council will publish a good-practice guide later this year for people who take part in challenge events, in response to increasing problems with littering and people defecating on the mountainside.

The organisation for climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers in England and Wales said it was concerned that Britain’s mountains were starting to feel the strain from the popularity of events such as the popular Three Peaks Challenge.

The BMC held a conference last week in Penrith, Cumbria, to explore the issues surrounding such events and attempt to bring together best practice that would maximise the benefits and minimise the negative impact.

"Litter, erosion, defecation, traffic, noise, disturbance to local residents and trails of abandoned glow sticks are just some of the issues linked to popular challenge events," the BMC said in a statement.

The BMC said it has noticed an increase in call-outs to mountain rescue service teams, which it believed could be avoided with better planning and preparation. "We don’t want to discourage people from taking part in challenge events in the uplands, but, as many participants are not regular mountain-goers, we are increasingly hearing of problems," said Rob Dyer, access and conservation officer at the BMC.

"We understand that charity and personal challenge events can also raise money for good causes. More needs to be done, however, to educate the public on the potential impact they can have and to develop a mechanism whereby visitors can give something back to ensure the mountains are protected and conserved."

Daniel Fluskey, head of policy and research at the Institute of Fundraising, gave a talk at the event on the key things event planners needed to know about running challenge events in the UK.

Asked to comment on mountain challenge events, he said in a statement: "The IoF believes that high standards should be followed so that the activity takes place in the right way. We have guidance on fundraising events, including outdoor challenge events and the Three Peaks Challenge, to help ensure that charities that undertake these activities can do so according to best practice."

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