Welcome to Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million.
We want to make a wholesale difference to the conservation of mountain and upland environments around the United Kingdom - halting erosion, repairing damaged habitats and improving access for walkers, climbers and other outdoor users. To help us reach our goal, we're trying to raise £150,000 on Crowdfunder, to support 12 individual path repair projects from Scotland to Sussex. If you're not sure which of our 12 projects to support, pledge here and your donation will be split equally between them.
The hills and mountains of the United Kingdom might seem timeless and invincible. But in reality they contain a multitude of fragile environments and ecosystems, and they have to be looked after. We've partnered with the UK's National Parks, alongside charities, businesses, user groups and individuals, to conserve and protect the landscape of our wild places for future generations: we're raising £1,000,000 to combat runaway erosion everywhere from the sub-arctic plateaus of the Cairngorms to the rolling chalk grassland of the South Downs.
They might seem disparate and unconnected, but what they have in common is that they are all in inspiring locations and all need a boost from the public to be completed. Pledge now, and help us succeed in the most ambitious crowdfunding project for the outdoors ever.
The places - and what we are doing
We're the British Mountaineering Council (or BMC) and we're the national representative body for walkers, climbers and mountaineers. Mend Our Mountains is our flagship campaigning entity; it's a brand designed to bring together outdoor users, conservation organisations, charities large and small, as well as businesses and anyone else who wants to help protect and conserve our upland environments. For Make One Million, we're working with a coalition of over 40 organisations to deliver 13 path repair projects in 11 National Parks (NB for the purposes of Crowdfunding, our Exmoor projects have been combined into one).
The National Parks of Northumbria, the North York Moors, the Norfolk Broads and the Pembrokeshire Coast will also receive funding from this appeal, but at a lower level than the projects below.
More people getting outdoors is a good thing, but the drip-drip effect of countless feet takes its toll. Without intervention, erosion scars on the most popular walking routes have been known to grow up to 30 metres wide (as wide as the M1).
Well-made, sensitively constructed paths are the best defence against this damage. But the cost of skilled labour and the challenge of getting materials to remote locations can make it expensive work: for example, it costs approximately £28,000 to maintain just one kilometre of the 40 kilometre route of the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.
But the challenge of looking after Britain’s paths is becoming greater and greater.
Storm damage and extreme weather is making things worse. The floods which hit the Lake District during Storm Desmond in late 2015, for example, were estimated to have caused a year’s worth of damage to the region’s paths in a single night, much of which has still not yet been repaired.
And money is getting tighter. Much upland path work falls outside the responsibility of local authorities, and National Parks have been squeezed in recent years by budget cuts of up to 40%.
In many places paths are eroding faster than they can be repaired.
The solution - and what your pledge will do
We need your support to build high-quality paths - these can vary from 'light-touch' work, where a path is essentially tidied up, to full-scale reconstruction using techniques like flagging and stone-pitching. The work is never cheap and often incredibly difficult to do. Helicopter airlifts, tonnes of raw material, specialist contractors - the costs add up terrifyingly quickly. It's estimated that in places the cost of building good quality paths can add up to over £200/metre.
We need your pledges to help secure and protect these environments with high-quality paths which will hopefully last for many tens of years. Please pledge today.
To help us reach this total (and those in our other Mend Our Mountains projects) we're working with a huge number of partners, many of whom have made incredibly kind donations - including our Headline Sponsors Cotswold Outdoor and Snow+Rock.
It means we can offer an amazing range of rewards - from t-shirts and mugs to unique experiences. You can see all of these on the right. Take a careful look - many of the projects here on the UK wide appeal are exclusive experiences and items you can't find elsewhere. We think there's something for everyone, on any kind of budget, and we've worked hard to make sure our partners are offering you something really great in return for your valuable pledge.
If you want to take a look at all the other projects in the appeal, and see how close we're getting to our overall target, check out the Mend Our Mountains Crowdfunder Homepage.
Pledge today and protect our mountains for the future.
Organic cotton Mend Our Mountain tees. Sizes shown: Men’s Medium, Women’s Small