The British Mountaineering Council’s project to repair the UK’s most eroded upland paths enters new phase after work began in earnest on Exmoor

The Mend Our Mountains (MoM) drive, launched in March, attempted to raise £100,000 for route restoration in eight key national parks. After raising £22,000 in the first week alone, money continued to flood in, sending the fund total to £103,832. Pledgers were able to bag some fantastic rewards including days out with outdoor experts and celebs including top climber Steve McClure and comedian Ed Byrne.

Now work has got underway to renovate a remote path near Long Chains Combe in Exmoor National Park, making it the first in the MoM process. For Exmoor, the aim of the project was to raise enough money to airlift stone onto the moor to improve the surface of the important Two Moors Way, a 102 mile route which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

“We were surprised and delighted at the amount of money we raised by this innovative project which will enable us to improve the surface of an ancient route, one of Exmoor’s most remote and rugged tracks”, said Sue Applegate, Rights of Way & Access Officer at Exmoor National Park. “The work would probably not have been able to go ahead without this funding and we are really grateful to everyone that donated from all over the UK and even as far away as the USA”

TGO columnist Carey Davies, who is the BMC’s Hill Walking Development Officer, says recent and significant rainfall in the area has only added to the problems of erosion. He said: “We are thrilled to be able to support restoration work near Long Chains Combe with proceeds from the BMC’s Mend Our Mountains campaign.

“It was a real ‘community’ effort, Davies added, “with lots of different elements of our ‘outdoor world’ pulling together for a cause and being involved in different ways.

The repairs to the path will now begin in earnest so that a reliable, dry route is in place before the autumn. The Mend Our Mountains campaign will also fund repairs to damaged paths on Snowdon, Scafell Pike, Ingleborough, Kinder Scout, part of the Brecon Beacons Horseshoe, as well as contribute towards vital repairs to moorland on Dartmoor and the North York Moors.

Despite the resounding success, the BMC is urging those still keen to donate to carry on doing so. “There is still vital work to do” says Catherine Flitcroft, the BMC’s Access and Conservation Officer.

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