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Crowdfunding campaign launched to save Cader Idris mountain footpaths

Thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, Mend Our Mountains: Make A Million, that is launched today, Cader Idris will hopefully be a step closer to benefiting from essential footpath development work.

[aoa id=”1″]With ever increasing numbers of people deciding to spend their leisure time and annual holiday closer to home, Britain’s National Parks are victims of their own popularity. An increase in the numbers going out to enjoy the Parks means more pressure on the footpath network. The combination of our traditionally wet weather and high numbers of walkers means that by now many of our paths are badly eroded, appearing like scars on our mountains.[/aoa]

The ‘Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million’ crowdfunding campaign is led by the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) on behalf of its partnership with the UK’s National Parks. The BMC appreciates the increasing pressure that our highlands are experiencing as a result of walkers and is eager to play its part in their conservation. The BMC is also sympathetic to the financial hardship that the National Parks are facing and the costs associated with footpath maintenance.

The current campaign is a follow-up of the original campaign that took place back in 2016, but this time around the set target is a staggering ten times higher at £1m! The popular crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder.co.uk is used to administer the donations, with individuals given the choice to back a single project, or donate into one pot that will be shared between the National Parks.

Here in Snowdonia, funding from the scheme will benefit a footpath on Cader Idris in the south of the National Park. Over recent years the number of walkers following an alternative route down the mountain has resulted in the development of an extensive erosion scar. Funding from the campaign will enable the National Park Authority to construct a solid stone pitched path to withstand the increasing pressure on this part of the mountain.

The campaign is supported by many well-known celebrities including the mountaineer, Chris Bonington; the TV presenter, Julia Bradbury; and the naturalist, Steve Backsall. Through sponsorship by leading outdoor retailers, various outdoor businesses and organisations, charities and user groups around £375,000 of the £1m has already been raised. It is now the public’s turn to contribute to ensure that future generations can enjoy the hills and mountains of our National Parks.

Dave Turnbull, Chief Executive Officer of the BMC explained:

“Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million’ is the BMC’s flagship initiative, our way of giving back to the mountains we love and use.

“More people out in the hills can only be a good thing – in fact, those regularly taking part in walking, climbing and mountaineering now outnumber those doing golf, tennis and rugby combined – but we do have a duty of care to these landscapes.

“That’s why I’m extremely proud that we’re supporting National Parks from Scotland to Sussex as they try to overcome the challenges they all face.”

Myfyr Tomos, a National Park Authority Warden on Cader Idris explained:

“Cader Idris is one of the most popular and iconic mountains in Wales, with the Minffordd Path being the busiest route to the summit. The majority of walkers, on reaching the summit of Cader Idris, complete the circuit of Cwm Cau by descending via an alternative route. Some sections of this route are now severely eroded, are unstable and an eyesore from the valley below. Thanks to the ‘Mend Our Mountains; Make One Million’ campaign we can look forward to undertake this essential work for the benefit of the mountain and its users.”

The Cader Idris project page on the Crowdfunder.co.uk website can be viewed by following https://crowdfunder.co.uk/help-mend-snowdonia