Carey Davies. Photo: Dougie Cunningham

Carey Davies. Photo: Dougie Cunningham

Two-thirds of the British Mountaineering Council’s members say they are first and foremost hillwalkers, despite the public perception the organisation caters mainly for climbers.

And the Manchester-based body has just appointed its first hillwalking development officer to look after the interests of the majority of its membership.

Former magazine assistant editor Carey Davies has taken up the role, funded by Sport England.

The BMC said his main aim is to provide information and advice to new hillwalkers and to the many members for whom hillwalking is their main activity.

Mr Davies said: “It’s an exciting prospect to start a new job, particularly one which has never been done before.

“I’m the first BMC officer to be dedicated to developing and promoting the work the organisation does for hillwalkers.

“A lot of people have the impression that the BMC is an organisation for climbers alone but so much of the work it does benefits hillwalkers too.

“The BMC was instrumental in securing the right-to-roam provisions of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, granting walkers the freedom of upland areas in England and Wales.

“You have probably trodden on footpaths maintained to a high and sympathetic standard with the help of the BMC’s conservation work. The BMC is literally fundamental to the ground you’re walking on.”

Mr Davies swapped his job on The Great Outdoors for the role at the West Didsbury headquarters of the council, which has 75,000 members.

He said: “There is huge scope for expanding the work the BMC does for hillwalkers. Watch this space as there will be new projects, promotions, campaigns and events to draw more hillwalkers into the fold and help develop our hillwalking-focused work.

“A big part of my role will be to publicise this work and get the message across to hillwalkers who don’t already realise the BMC is for you too.”

Mr Davies will write for the website and Summit, organising walking meets and events, cultivating partnerships with other outdoor organisations and helping publicise what the BMC does for walkers through articles, video and social media.

He will also oversee continuation of the BMC’s partnership with Harvey maps in its series of British Mountain Maps.

The BMC was keen to dispel the notion that it is primarily a climbers’ organisation. It said in the past it has funded, through its Access and Conservation Trust, footpath restoration in the Yorkshire Three Peaks, the Black Mountains in south Wales and in the Peak District.

It also said it has provided a voice in Parliament, secured rights under the CRoW Act, pressured Government departments and bodies to implement coastal access and worked with the Friends of the Lake District in its campaign to extend the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales national parks.

The BMC said it supported the creation of the Wales Coast Path, worked with the Snowdonia Society on a clean-up of Snowdon and campaigned for protection of Welsh mountains from large turbine developments.

It has also supported the upcoming Outdoor Industries Association Britain on Foot campaign and produces free publications such as the New Hill Walkers booklet. There is also hillwalking content in its Summit magazine and members can claim 10 per cent discount at more than 600 outdoor shops.

  • grough offers BMC members a 20 per cent discount on its grough route mapping and route planning service.

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Veteran climbers Gwen Moffat and Angela Soper gain mountain council honours