So I have ‘only’ done the Ben seven times this year so far. Not bad for a local guide. I fear that soon this may stop altogether.
I have posted continually about the way I feel about the abuse being heaped on our Iconic mountain. I try my best to help out by clearing litter and helping on footpath repair workshops. However all I see is the problem getting worse.
Elite runners feel they have the right to use shortcuts which lead to water erosion on our paths. It also encourages the ‘normal punter’ to do the same. They also run off the constructed paths (as the stones hurt their feet). An enormous amount of cost has gone into fixing the Ben path this year. Just walk down from the new wooden bridge and see where the runners are already running on the sides of the path and undoing all the good work.
Three Peakers feel that they are ‘doing this for charity’ therefore can shout at you for being in their way, drop litter (I presume they expect the magic fairies to pick it up), and take shortcuts. The plethora of bottle pulls is associated with large groups on organised hikes being given (particularly Evian) by the organisers.
Day Trippers feel that this is no different from being in their cities so drop their ‘rubbish’. You can’t expect them to carry ‘rubbish’, can you?
Increasingly taking punters up the Ben is an embarrassment for me. Who to talk to – Rio Tinto, SNH, Nevis partnership, John Muir Trust? Three of these are committed to protection of our environment, yet little has been done.
As I glide serenely into my ‘purple stage’ what to be done:
(2) Big Signs
(3) Rangers and fines
Draconian maybe, effective definitely, and I bet cheaper than repairing the paths, and better at preserving the natural environment. Anyone able to help me progress this, please do.