Today marks the launch of an enormous crowdfunding drive for Britain’s hills and mountains. It is part of Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million, a campaign partnership between the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) and the UK’s family of fifteen National Parks, which seeks to repair the areas of our treasured landscapes that have been most seriously blighted by erosion.
The appeal is supported by celebrities like Sir Chris Bonington, Julia Bradbury and Steve Backshall and is a follow-up to the BMC’s original Mend Our Mountains campaign. This ran in 2016 and was hugely successful, raising over £100,000 from public donations.
With the target now an ambitious ten times higher, the BMC and their partners have been raising revenue through various means. Headline Sponsorship is provided by leading outdoor retailers Cotswold Outdoor and Snow+Rock, and a coalition of outdoor organisations, businesses, charities and user groups have lined up to support Mend Our Mountains. Around £375,000 of the £1,000,000 target has already been raised, and this crowdfunding drive is the largest single effort of the campaign, aiming to add another £150,000 to the total.
A day of climbing tuition donated by the UK’s top professional climbers – pledge £500
Helicopter ride in The Yorkshire Dales – pledge £500
Bespoke ‘finger post’ signs customised to the Park of your choice – pledge ~£100
Limited edition T-shirt – pledge £25
Variety of discount codes – pledge between £15 and £30
The campaign will run for at least six weeks from today and will be a fundraising appeal with a difference. Powered by innovative and award-winning online platform Crowdfunder.co.uk, would-be supporters can choose to claim a reward in exchange for their donation. The rewards range from t-shirts to helicopter rides (see right), and have been predominantly donated by the plethora of organisations backing Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million.
With ever-increasing numbers of people loving the outdoors, National Parks are a victim of their own success – booming visitor numbers mean more boots on paths, while tighter budgets in many places have limited capacity to keep up repairs. Even as they rise up the political agenda, with possible new parks on the horizon, the UK’s National Parks are struggling.
Everyone who makes a donation will have a choice of either giving their money to an individual project featured in the campaign or to an overall total which will be split between the 13 primary projects. Given the large totals being sought, many of the projects will not go ahead if they do not reach their Mend Our Mountains target. The money raised will be channelled to the different projects through the BMC’s charitable arm, the Access & Conservation Trust. (For featured projects and partner organisations, please see Notes to Editors).
For more information on the Mend Our Mountains campaign visit www.thebmc.co.uk/mendmountains.