Participants in a previous Pick and Play

Participants in a previous Pick and Play

Mountaineers in the Peak District are calling on members of the public to do their bit to tidy up the national park.

In return for a morning or afternoon picking up litter, participants in the annual Pick and Play event will be rewarded with a range of outdoor activities.

Organisers said the clean-up, now in its sixth year, is growing in popularity, with last year’s event attracting 140 participants. Between them, they managed to clear 120kg of rubbish in a few hours.

Paul Lewis of Peak Mountaineering, which runs the Pick and Play sessions, said: “With many millions of annual visitors and covering an area of 550 sq miles, the infrastructure of the Peak District national park is always stretched, and litter is a very significant, visible and growing problem.”

The Castleton-based outdoor activity company has teamed up for the past five years with the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers to run the event aimed at helping to alleviate the problem and to educate people about the issue.

Participants are invited to help clear up the national park and in return the company arranges a series of free outdoor activities as a thank-you.

This year’s activities are: climbing, abseiling, navigation training, a guided ranger walk, weaselling – a children’s activity that’s a bit like above ground caving – and a bushcraft session. Mr Lewis said: “Having said that, some participants may just want to do double litter collection and some can only spare a morning or afternoon. Anything is fine; Peak Mountaineering just want as many people as possible to attend.

“The event always has a friendly and inclusive feel and everyone including families, singles, groups and couples are equally welcome.

Abseiling is among activities on offer

Abseiling is among activities on offer

“All activities are run by qualified instructors who give up their time for free and Peak Mountaineering relies on the support of many Association of Mountaineering Instructors and Mountain Training Association members.

“The event also couldn’t run without the assistance of the Peak Park ranger service and National Trust.”

This year’s event will run on the 12 May, based at the Surprise View car park on the Sheffield to Hathersage road near Longshaw Estate and free parking is available. Participation in the event is also free.

Registration will start at 9.15am and the activities start at 10am. The event runs until 4pm. Organisers said the use of public transport is also strongly encouraged and the car park is on a main bus route or lifts can be provided from the local train station. Safe bike storage can also be arranged.

Litter-collection equipment and all technical activity equipment will be provided and participants only need to bring suitable clothing and footwear plus a packed lunch. Water and free hot drinks will be available.

The event is suitable for all ages though under-18s must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Outdoors brand Rab is the main sponsor and other brands including Nikwax, Lowe Alpine, Osprey and Hydroflask have provided products for a lunchtime raffle.

Anyone who want to take part is asked to complete one of Peak Mountaineering’s booking forms and they will contact you with joining instructions.

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