By: Blonde Two
Mr Blonde Two and I often have discussions about whether it is ‘cyclers’ or ‘walkists’ who cause the most erosion on Dartmoor. In truth, we should both probably admit to a modicum of responsibility; he with his two wheels and me with my troupe of teenagers, we both do our little bit of damage. In fact, we all do.
Which is why I wanted to tell you about the BMC’s (that’s British Mountaineering Council) ‘Mend Our Mountains’ campaign. ‘Mend Our Mountains’ is a crowdfunding campaign that aims to raise £100,000 for urgent repairs to paths on some of the UK’s most loved peaks. For those of you who don’t know what crowdfunding is, it is the online equivalent of a group of people standing in a circle and throwing money into a pot. You get to choose your pot, and in return might receive a little present or certificate.
The ‘Mend Our Mountains’ campaign aims to help with ten different projects. You, like me, might be surprised to see how many you have helped to erode including (for me): Snowdon’s Watkin Path, the Brecon Beacon’s Horseshoe walk and the Lyke Wake Walk http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/campaign/mend-our-mountains If you are a Dartmoor lover, you will recognise the bridleway from Nun’s Cross Farm to Eylesbarrow. It is beautiful and not surprisingly well used by around 18,000 walkers and 6,000 mountain bikers every year. You will also recognise that this section of path is in need of repair.
I know that the issues behind conservation and land use on our hills and mountains are complicated ones. Mending paths is not the only answer to some of the problems, but it makes sense to me; if you help to break something, you could also help to fix it. You can donate to the ‘Mend Our Mountains’ campaign by choosing your favourite project or the UK wide project as a whole.