The Real3Peaks Challenge: 7 years old

Posted by Peter Burnside on 04/10/2019
Cleaning up the spectacular Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye. Photo: Real3Peaks Challenge
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The Real3Peaks Challenge, an event that has removed 2.3 tonnes of litter from popular peaks after the busy summer period, is turning seven years old on Saturday 12 October and is going nationwide too! This year, alongside the 'Big 3' peaks, events will also be held at Lochnagar, Cairngorm/Ben Macdui, Bennachie, Ben Lomond, the Isle of Skye, Roseberry Topping, the Roaches, Old Man of Coniston and Pen y Fan. Find out how to join us and help.

How much waste has been collected?

Over the past six years, approximately 2.34 tonnes of litter has been removed from the 3 Peaks in a mere four days of volunteer action. Broken down as follows:

October 2013 – 265kg
Cleared off the major routes on Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon.
 
October 2014 – 423kg 
(We now knew where to look!)
 
October 2015 – 513kg
(A monster haul.)
 
October 2016 – 568kg
(Ben Nevis: 267kg – including a toilet, Scafell Pike: 96kg, Snowdon: 205kg)
 
October 2017 – 570kg
From 109 volunteers split between:
Ben Nevis: 120kg, Scafell Pike: 55kg, Snowdon: 280kg, Lochnager: 13kg, Ben Macdui: 7kg, Ben Lomand: 16kg, Mam Tor & Dovestone: 78kg)
 
October 2018 – 611kg
From 20 litter picks in 19 locations!

How to join the Real3Peaks Challenge

Please come and join us to help. This year on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 October we need volunteers to help us scour the areas. All we ask is that you're available for a full hill day, be an independent hillwalker (please note this is not a guided walk – mountain professionals are very welcome too) and be fully prepared for a long descent with lots of banter. If you'd like to join us, then please get in contact using the details on the Facebook page.

Dates and locations:

Saturday 12 October

Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon
Ben Nevis
Old Man of Coniston
Roseberry Topping
Fairy Pools, Glen Brittle
Scafell Pike
Bennachie

Sunday 13 October
Castleton, Peak District
The Roaches, Peak District

FIND THE EVENTS: on the Real3Peaks Facebook page

What is the Real3Peaks Challenge?

The aim of the Real3Peaks Challenge is to increase awareness of the ‘Leave no Trace’ or ‘Take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints’ ethic when walking in our hills and mountains in the UK (and beyond) – not only for our three most popular mountains either, but for all our ‘wild’ and beautiful upland places too.

Now in its 7th year, the #Real3Peaks Challenge has steadily become more visible within the outdoor and recreational sector and with land managers and organisations, conservation charities, landowners and activity providers. The R3P now commands in the region of 50-60,000 people reached via our Facebook page posts, before and after the events, and with the likes of the Balmoral Estate sharing our posts, we should reach record numbers this year.  Please do help us in our aim to reach as many people as possible with our consistent and simple messages. Take off the hill, what you bring on…and if you can take a little bit more off, even better!

This year, not only do we have the ‘Big 3’ (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon) but also Lochnagar, Cairngorm, Ben Macdui, Ben Lomond, Isle of Skye, Roseberry Topping, The Roaches, Coniston Old Man and Pen y Fan amongst others. This is a massive increase on ground we’re covering, including all the high ground in the Cairngorm National Park. That’s no modest feat! We'll find out after Saturday 12 October 2019 how we all get on.

The Real3Peaks Challenge receives NO direct funding from any source, other than volunteers’ generous amounts of time and donations of resources and coverage from other conservation and industry related organisations. This is a low-key, grass-roots, yearly conservation event…and there’s always scope to improve, expand and formalise tasks and strategies. But the majority of volunteers also have full time careers and families to juggle also.

Rich Pyne, founder of the Real 3 Peaks Challenge, says: “When I started the Real3Peaks Challenge in 2013, I was working as a full-time Outdoors Instructor. Whilst my clients were eating lunch, I decided to pick up some rubbish off the summit of Ben Nevis, as it was looking rather sad. I filled two carrier bags in as many minutes!

“From this point, rather disappointed in humanity, I wrote about my findings on a Facebook page, from where somebody said, "Why don't you do something about it? So, I did…
 
“With other keen and committed ‘mountain people’, I have carried on volunteering time towards R3P.  This started as a personal crusade, but now it has become my opportunity to help make a difference, and to ultimately help change attitudes towards our ‘common land’.”
 

Sponsors

The Real3Peaks Challenge has received generous practical and publicity support from the following organisations. We are very grateful to:
 
Mountain Training Association
The British Mountaineering Council
Mountaineering Scotland
The John Muir Trust
The National Trust
Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia Society
Snowdon Mountain Railway
Keep Wales Tidy

 


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Anonymous User
07/10/2019
A particular type of litter I encounter on just about every 'wild' walk I undertake in the Brecon Beacons is the helium balloon. Tired and dejected, they've been the centre of a child's attention for a few instants, then drifted on the wind from who knows where and settled on some wild moor or dark forest somewhere in the National Park. From the frequency of encountering their sad and sorry remains, I've calculated there are at least several hundred out there just in my patch at any one time. Unsightly, inedible (and thereby potentially dangerous to livestock) and a criminal waste of that precious and finite resource helium - wouldn't it be good to banish them from our hillsides. Arriving by air as they do, they get to places that 'ordinary' rubbish does not.
Anonymous User
08/10/2019
Is anything happening on Pen y Fan?

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