After months of hard work behind the scenes, Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million launched to the public at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF) last weekend, with a variety of successful events and promotions over the weekend to show what the campaign is all about.

If you somehow haven’t heard of the campaign yet (where have you been?!), Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million is a year-long appeal to raise £1 million in total for a range of vital path repair projects within the UK’s entire family of 15 National Parks.

The official launch event took place on Friday 9 March and generated a big crowd. Over 100 people turned out to listen to contributions from BMC Ambassador Mary-Ann Ochota, BMC hill walking officer and campaign lead Carey Davies, and several others. The event was a big success and was followed by a special mountain film screening.

Then on Saturday more than 30 walkers took the opportunity to put the ‘mountain’ in Mend Our Mountains. Walkers, climbers and outdoor enthusiasts came out and braved the elements in the Peak District to walk the length of the Great Ridge – where Mend Our Mountains will be helping to repair damaged paths around Back Tor.

Despite an initially very grey sky, walkers were treated to beautiful views across Edale and Hope valleys during the walk, and had the opportunity to listen to our Mend Our Mountains team, as well as local experts who will be working on the Great Ridge project. Most importantly, a fantastic pub lunch was enjoyed by all at the end!

The BMC provided headline sponsorship for ShAFF and the Mend Our Mountains campaign was on show throughout the weekend, as thousands of outdoor enthusiasts descended on the Showroom Cinema to get their fill of adrenaline-fuelled adventure films.

Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million is a national coalition of organisations and projects – they are all in inspiring locations and they all need a boost from the public to be completed. The appeal is run in conjunction with a UK-wide coalition of National Parks and other organisations, and headline sponsorship is generously provided by Cotswold Outdoor and Snow + Rock.

Mend Our Mountains in action at ShAFF. Photo: Tamaris Higham 

Carey, Mend Our Mountains project lead and BMC Hill Walking Officer, says: 

“Central Sheffield might seem an unlikely launch pad for an appeal to benefit Britain’s hills, mountains and outdoor landscapes. But as ‘Outdoor City’, within touching distance of the Peak District, Sheffield is a hub for adventure fans of all stripes, and over the ShAFF weekend hundreds them heard the message about Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million – both the UK-wide appeal, and their ‘local’ projects, the Great Ridge and the Cut Gate bridleway.

“Our launch event on the Friday was a huge success, and Saturday’s walk over the Great Ridge brought out a wonderfully varied mix of lively, engaged people. Despite initial drizzle the cloud lifted and we got entrancing views over Edale, the Hope Valley and the ridge itself. It was a fun event but it also left no one in any doubt about the scale of the erosion problem on the route.

“We hope the people we walked with and talked to over the weekend will be some of the core advocates, fundraisers and awareness-raisers for the appeal as it progresses. If passionate outdoor people don’t support Mend Our Mountains, who will?”

This appeal is about more than just tidying up a few muddy paths – it is about protecting the health and integrity of places which are hugely important to many people. Find out how you can do your bit.

READ: 7 ways to make a difference for the mountains