The organisations responsible for the management of the national high points, Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, have launched a website which aims to smooth the journey for teams taking part in Three Peaks events, and help mitigate some of the environmental damage caused by this hugely popular charity driving challenge.
Thousands of people each year climb Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon, with many trying to summit all three peaks in one trip. The longer days of summer see the numbers taking part rise dramatically, with consequent impacts on the paths and nearby communities.
'The Three Peaks Challenge is a popular and successful fundraising activity for a range of charities' said Helen Pye, National Park Area Warden for Snowdon.
'However there is a net cost for the conservation charities that care for the landscape. Path erosion is significant, as is the loss of habitat which reduces the natural diversity of the mountains.'
Now the Three Peaks Partnership, an alliance of the John Muir Trust (Ben Nevis), National Trust (Scafell Pike) and Snowdonia National Park Authority (Snowdon) are trying to do someting about it.
Their new website www.threepeakspartnership.co.uk, which is backed by funding from the British Mountaineering Council, is aimed at anyone preparing to tackle the Three Peaks Challenge whether as a professional organiser, a fundraiser or a participant.
It will also be a place where participants can register their challenge, with groups of ten or more being strongly encouraged to register.
Sarah Lewis, Conservation Officer for the John Muir Trust, said:
'The website has all of the best practice steps you can take to reducing path erosion, habitat degradation and congestion.'
'[It] will be the place to find out how to get involved, and how to give back – whether that’s volunteering for a day caring for the landscape, or getting involved with a local project. We’ll also be providing lots of local information so people can prepare themselves for conditions on the hill.'
'The key to an enjoyable and successful Challenge is in the pre-planning and that’s where we’re here to help. At weekends especially, parking and litter can be a huge problem. There’s detailed info and advice on our new website as to how to plan for parking and for litter disposal' said Helen Pye.