Julia Bradbury and Sam Thompson on the Great Ridge, with the string of headtorches in the background. Photo: Ali Cusick

Julia Bradbury and Sam Thompson on the Great Ridge, with the string of headtorches in the background. Photo: Ali Cusick

Hundreds of walkers joined television celebrity Julia Bradbury in illuminating the Peak District hills.

The presenter and 600 walkers lit up the Great Ridge with headtorches to highlight the Mend Our Mountains campaign.

Hillwalking novice Sam Thompson of the TV series Made in Chelsea also joined the seasoned outdoors presenter at the event on Tuesday night.

Walkers strung out along the ridge, from Lose Hill to Mam Tor, forming a trail of lights using their headtorches.

The event was a joint venture between the British Mountaineering Council, which is running the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million, and the Camping and Caravanning Club, of which Ms Bradbury is president.

The club’s national camping and caravanning week, from 28 May to 3 June, aims to encourage more people to get our walking and camping in the British countryside.

The Mend Our Mountains campaign has a target of raising £1m to help repair footpaths throughout Britain’s national parks.

Ms Bradbury and Mr Thompson both spent the night camping at Fields Farm, Castleton, after the walk.

The view of the event from Mam Tor, looking to Back Tor and Lose Hill. Photo: Alex Messenger

The view of the event from Mam Tor, looking to Back Tor and Lose Hill. Photo: Alex Messenger

Julia Bradbury said: “I hope my night trekking and camping with Sam in the Peak District inspires everyone to push themselves out of their comfort zone, challenging themselves with an outdoor adventure and experiencing the delights of the great British countryside.

“Country walking is the number one pastime of campers and we all need to play a part in protecting our footpaths. As ever, I’m thrilled to champion and support these wonderful organisations.

“What better way to launch NCCW than taking Made in Chelsea’s Sam Thompson under my wing and completing such an inspiring challenge to highlight one of the most beautiful locations in Britain.”

Sam Thompson said: “I am a bit of a stranger when it comes to camping and trekking, so I’ve really been looking forward to spending time with Julia and experiencing the Peak District for myself.

“As a camping novice, I couldn’t wait to throw myself in at the deep end by helping to light up the Great Ridge, especially followed by a restful night glamping in the great outdoors – it’s certainly different to Chelsea!”

Sections of the footpath on Great Ridge, one of the country’s top 10 favourite walks according to a recent ITV programme, have eroded and are in need of essential repair work to prevent worsening damage.

The television celebrities camped after the event. Photo: Ali Cusick

The television celebrities camped after the event. Photo: Ali Cusick

Volunteer participants witnessed a glowing sunset before night descended and a line of lights appeared along the ridge. On a cold, fresh night, the marshalled walkers, all wearing headtorches, formed a continuous two mile-long trail that highlighted the shape of the sweeping ridge.

Robert Louden, director general of the Camping and Caravanning Club, said: “National camping and caravanning week is the club’s annual campaign that aims to get the nation pitching up on campsites around the UK and enjoying our great British countryside.

“The club was one of the original founding members of the BMC and we are extremely pleased to be supporting the Mend Our Mountains campaign, which is doing vital work to ensure we both protect our countryside and provide good, sustainable access to it.”

Matthew Bradbury, chair of the BMC Access and Conservation Trust, added: “The Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million appeal is about more than just tidying up a few muddy paths.

“It aims to galvanise a sense of pride and responsibility for looking after places that play an important role in many of our lives, whether we walk, run, ride, ramble, camp or climb. Lighting up the Great Ridge symbolises this collective determination to give something back to the landscapes we care about.”

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