A helicopter airlifts stone on to the Ringing Roger path on Kinder Scout as part of last year's campaign. Photo: Adam Long

A helicopter airlifts stone on to the Ringing Roger path on Kinder Scout as part of last year's campaign. Photo: Adam Long

The British Mountaineering Council has launched an ambitious £1m project to help repair paths in Britain’s national parks.

Following last year’s successful Mend Our Mountains campaign, which raised more than £100,000, the organisation has raised its sights with a quest to bring in 10 times that amount in a new appeal.

Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million is being co-ordinated by the BMC’s Access and Conservation Trust, with support from Mountaineering Scotland for two areas north of the border.

Retailers Cotswold Outdoor and Snow+Rock are sponsoring the year-long campaign, which is targeting specific projects in 11 national parks in England, Wales and Scotland.

The BMC said: “It will employ a wide 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.”

A parliamentary reception in Westminster on Monday will kick off the first phase of the campaign, which will run until spring, with the emphasis on attracting money from high-net-worth individuals, businesses and grant-giving bodies.

The second phase will run over the spring and summer of 2018 and will see the main drive to encourage the general public. The third phase will run next autumn, with a crowdfunding ‘crescendo’ aimed at raising the remaining sum of money.

The BMC’s chief executive Dave Turnbull said: “We are thrilled to be launching Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million today.

“This is a flagship initiative for the BMC and the BMC Access and Conservation Trust which shows our commitment to safeguard the outdoor and adventurous environment to the benefit of everyone.

“But it is also a collaborative effort with a UK-wide coalition of organisations, businesses and campaigners, as well as the public. To reach our ambitious target we need everyone to do their bit. We all benefit from these wonderful places and we all have a role to play in looking after them.”

Projects earmarked for the main fundraising campaigns are:

  • Lake District: Scafell Pike, Brown Tongue and Hollow Stones plus summit cairn – target £100,000
  • Peak District: the Great Ridge, Mam Tor to Lose Hill – £140,000
  • Peak District: Cut Gate, Langsett to Howden Reservoirs – £70,000
  • South Downs: South Downs Way, Pen Hill, Plumpton Plain and Old Winchester Hill – £100,000
  • Snowdonia: Cadair Idris, Mynydd Moel and Minffordd paths – £140,000
  • Loch Lomond and the Trossachs: Ben Vane, main path – £40,000
  • Cairngorms: Beinn a’ Ghlò, Carn Liath path – £60,000
  • Exmoor: the Chains, Exe Head to Wood Barrow – £20,000
  • Exmoor: Great Bradley Bridge over River Barle – £20,000
  • Dartmoor: Nun’s Cross Path on Princetown-Burrator Loop – £40,000
  • Yorkshire Dales: Whernside, Bruntscar path – £46,000
  • New Forest: the Lepe Loop trail on the Solent – £25,000
  • Brecon Beacons: Bâl Mawr in the Black Mountains – £20,000.
The Bruntscar path on Whernside. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Bruntscar path on Whernside. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Smaller sums will also be allocated to Northumberland and North York Moors national parks and the Broads.

Mountaineer Alan Hinkes, the only Briton to climb the world’s 14 highest mountains, said: “The landscapes within Britain’s national parks were my inspiration growing up and they became the launch pad for the achievements I went on to have in the highest mountains of the world.

“It might seem like our hills and mountains are small by world standards but they can foster great achievements and they mean a huge amount to the people who live in these islands. We all have a responsibility to take care of them and Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million is a great way of doing that.”

Last year’s Mend Our Mountains campaign, a two-month crowdfunding drive which ran in spring, raised £103,832 for mountain paths across England and Wales.

National parks, particularly in England, have seen their budgets cut over the past few years as part of austerity measures introduced by UK governments.

Mary Ann Ochota, broadcaster, anthropologist and BMC hillwalking ambassador, said: “Today more people than ever are experiencing the joy of the outdoors.

“More UK adults regularly go hillwalking or climbing than regularly participate in golf, tennis and rugby put together. The accumulated benefit of this activity to the heath, happiness and general wellbeing of wider society is incalculable.

“Taking care of paths is a way of ensuring this huge positive effect is sustainable for future generations.”

Details of the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million are on the BMC website.

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