Scafell Pike, left, is one of the mountains to benefit from the appeal. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Scafell Pike, left, is one of the mountains to benefit from the appeal. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The British Mountaineering Council has launched a major crowdfunding appeal to help boost its campaign to improve upland paths in Britain’s national parks.

The organisation is aiming to raise a million pounds through its Mend Our Mountains scheme – 10 times the amount its original appeal brought in two years ago.

The crowdfunding appeal began on Monday and offers a range of rewards to members of the public who donate to the fund. Generous types have the chance of a ride on the helicopter airlifting stone for footpath restoration. Lesser gifts qualify for prizes such as woolly hats and Buffs.

The Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million crowdfunding appeal will run for six weeks and has a target of adding £150,000 to the total. So far, the overall appeal has raised more than £375,000.

BMC chief executive Dave Turnbull said: “Mend Our Mountains is the BMC’s flagship initiative, our way of giving back to the mountains we love and use.

“More people out in the hills can only be a good thing – in fact, those regularly taking part in walking, climbing and mountaineering now outnumber those doing golf, tennis and rugby combined – but we do have a duty of care to these landscapes.

“That’s why I’m extremely proud that we’re supporting national parks from Scotland to Sussex as they try to overcome the challenges they all face.”

Paths due to be restored using cash from the appeal are on Ben Vane in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs; Beinn a’ Ghlò in the Cairngorms; Scafell Pike in the Lake District; Whernside in the Yorkshire Dales; the Great Ridge and Cut Gate in the Peak District; Cadair Idris in Snowdonia; Bâl Mawr in the Brecon Beacons; two locations in Exmoor; Nun’s Cross in Dartmoor; the Lepe Loop in the New Forest and the South Downs Way in West Sussex.

Donors can choose to give to specific projects or to the fund as a whole.

Sir Chris Bonington is supporting the appeal. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Sir Chris Bonington is supporting the appeal. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Veteran mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington said: “Footpath work is essential to look after our mountains. Without it many routes in places like the Lake District would become huge scars or rivers of scree.

“Mend Our Mountains is an innovative way for walkers and climbers to make a collective contribution to preserve the beauty of the fells at a challenging time. I fully support it and would encourage everyone to donate and please – spread the word.”

Television presenter Julia Bradbury added: “It’s easy to take the paths beneath our feet for granted when we’re walking in the hills, yet footpaths are the arteries of the hills when it comes to enabling people to access the mountains sustainably.

“I’ve been fortunate to walk along many footpaths that have formed part of our landscape for hundreds of years and which now need our help.

“I’m supporting the Mend Our Mountains crowdfunding campaign so that many more people, including families and young people, can enjoy our hills and mountains in the years to come.

“If you love walking in our national parks, please lend your support.”

Details are on the Crowdfunder website.

  • Bob Smith is a member of the BMC

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