A recent co-ordinated clean of the UK’s three highest peaks has highlighted a continuing litter problem, with over 500kg of rubbish removed in a single day.
And it's helped focus the debate on how to encourage increased participation in outdoor activities and challenges, while also protecting these special places for everyone to enjoy - something we're mindful of at timeoutdoors.
The ‘Real3Peaks Challenge’ was started in 2013 to promote awareness of the issue at some of the UK’s most popular mountains, with the focus on Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon.
Rich Pyne, the overall founder and co-ordinator of the Ben Nevis clean up, explained: "I started the Real3Peaks Challenge back in 2013 because of the littering issue I encountered on the summit of Ben Nevis, filling two carrier bags in as many minutes.
"I was appalled by what I found up there."
The effort to clean up Britain’s highest mountains has since been supported not just by a growing team of volunteers but also numerous organisations.
“Initially, I was going to try and complete the Challenge myself, cleaning each hill, one after the other," said Pyne. "But I soon realised that wouldn't be effective enough to make a difference.
"So I soon got together a modest group of leaders, used to working in the outdoors with individuals and groups, to manage each hill. These were myself (www.richmountainexperiences.co.uk) on Ben Nevis; Kelvyn James, International Mountain Leader, (www.mountainservices.co.uk) on Scafell Pike and Ross and Kate Worthington (www.raw-adventures.co.uk), who are involved heavily with clearing the way on Snowdon throughout the year on other events."
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