A clean up on England’s highest fell produced a mountain of waste.
The litter pick, organised by Stockport-based mountain leader Dave Ascough, turned up a huge variety of detritus, from sanitary items to a pair of boots.
Mr Ascough said some visitors to Scafell Pike have scant regard for the environment, and he called on organisers of charity walks on the mountain to recognise the effect of their events.
He said: “Heavy rain and strong winds meant we could only go as far as Lingmell Beck and as we walked back to The Green at Wasdale Head we collected any items of rubbish we found, filling, on average, one bin bag for every 100m.
“With each bin bag weighing 4kg this means there is at least 40 tonnes of waste on the mountain.
“The worst offenders were chewing gum, cigarette butts and plastic bottles, all potentially lethal to wildlife.
“Other items collected included cans; a ready meal container and fork, wrapped in a plastic bag and carefully hidden under a rock; two interdental brushes; a used sanitary towel; a pair of socks; a pair of serviceable boots; a Nike jacket; gloves; handkerchiefs; tissues; glow sticks; walking poles; banana peel; orange peel; apple cores; a rug; contact lens cases; sweet wrappers and an abundance of energy gel wrappers.
“England’s highest mountain attracts thousands of visitors each year. Unfortunately, some of them seem to have little regard for the environment which provides their entertainment.
“We would like to get a message across to charities and individuals that while charity challenges raise a lot of money there is an environmental cost if they are not carried out responsibly.”
The mountain leader and his supporters plan another clean up in June next year.