Every year more than 30,000 people take part in a national Three Peaks challenge, bringing 24-hour noise, litter, toilet problems and inconsiderate mass parking to the foot of Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike. To say nothing of path erosion and the carbon footprint. Perhaps the worst affected area is Wasdale, where the minor road and other facilities are least able to bear the sheer numbers. New measures here might help address some of these issues.
The Wasdale Visitor Management Partnership’s new Three Peaks guidelines are designed to help this small, remote community cope with the arrival, at all hours, of the equivalent of 1000 times their own population. The focus is on encouraging those taking part in a Three Peaks challenge to park safely and climb Scafell Pike responsibly.
Planning ahead is the key for organisers and participants, says Sarah Medcalf, Visitor Management Officer:
'The Three Peaks is a high-profile challenge, both for those taking part and for the people who live and work in this spectacular natural environment. We want everyone to enjoy the experience, so we’re asking organisers and participants to think ahead about parking, toilets and using a route that doesn’t add to the erosion on the Pike.'
'We’ve worked with local residents, the Lake District National Park and colleagues from Ben Nevis and Snowdon to help keep the Three Peaks as a unique experience, but also one that locals don’t dread.’
To help manage the impacts of the challenge on both the community and the natural environment, this year there will be:
- Dedicated minibus bays in Lake Head car park to prevent informal parking on the single track road
- 24-hour parking at Lake Head, away from the village green
- Temporary toilets and catering for participants
- Scafell Pike route information
- National Trust staff available to talk directly to organisers and participants before, during and after the Three Peaks ‘season’
Three Peaks guidelines from the National Trust are available here.