The British Mountaineering Council launched its nationwide Mend Our Mountains campaign in March to fund eight, urgent upland repair projects in partnership with national parks.
Among them was a severely-eroded path below the Ringing Roger rock outcrop on Kinder Scout in the Peak District National Park. The original donation target was £10,000 but the appeal ultimately raised more than £17,000, which is enough to restore a section of one of the most popular routes to the Kinder Plateau.
Almost 400 people supported the Peak District section of the appeal – more than any of the other seven locations – and Mike Rhodes, access and rights of way manager at the Peak District National Park, said: “It’s quite something that so many people were prepared to donate to something like this and almost all the money came from individuals. They may not even walk the route themselves but still want to help us look after the landscape.
“The amount exceeded all our expectations and we are delighted that it has covered the cost of the work. The erosion had got to the point where we had to do something and this initiative from the BMC has been absolutely brilliant. It means that a very important and popular walking route will be repaired for people to enjoy for a long time to come.”
Around 40 tonnes of gritstone will be airlifted to the site by helicopter from Edale, with the contractor scheduled to start three weeks of work on the ground in early November.
Mike added: “The only way to get that amount of stone up there is by helicopter. There is no access for vehicles and it is just not practical to transport it any other way.”
Carey Davies, hill walking development officer for the BMC, said: “We are thrilled to be able to support path restoration work on Kinder Scout. Thanks to its part in the famous 1932 mass trespass, this is a hugely symbolic mountain in the movement for free access to open country, a right we take for granted today. Supporting this work means that people will continue to be able to enjoy the unique otherworldly atmosphere of the Kinder Scout plateau sustainably.
“The challenges of balancing free access with conservation are particularly pronounced in the Peak District, a national park surrounded by 20 million people. The number of people who supported this project in our Mend Our Mountains campaign is proof that passion for the Peak District is as strong as ever.
“It also shows that if walkers are prepared to give something back voluntarily to the landscapes they love, then they will. As national parks face increasing pressures in carrying out their work, we want to send a message out on behalf of walkers and other outdoor enthusiasts: these are our hills to climb and ours to care for.”