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Clearing litter from Scotland's mountains

Tuesday 21st August 2018, 11:19am

This year’s Real3Peaks Challenge will take place in early October, with groups of litter-pickers visiting a number of hills across the UK to clear up all the rubbish they find.

Scottish mountains to be covered by the litter volunteers will include Ben Nevis, Goatfell, Ben Lomond, Ben Macdui and Lochnagar, with others still to be confirmed.

The event started as a litter blitz on Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis, devised by mountain guides who were angered by the amount of rubbish they saw about the hills as they guided clients round the conventional Three Peaks Challenge, which aims to climb the highest points of Wales, England and Scotland within 24 hours.

The first event was in 2013, and since then has not only continued as an annual event, but grown to include other mountains.

Throughout the UK, over a hundred volunteers collected 570kg of rubbish.

In the past litter collected has ranged from the freshly dropped to tins, paper and plastic that has been wedged under stones years ago.

This year organisers are hoping to make the event their biggest yet, with Saturday 13th October the main target date.

Rich Pyne, one of the founding mountain leaders, and coordinator of the Ben Nevis event, said: “I want to thank all that have volunteered in the past and who will volunteer in the future.

“This is a wonderful day out, with a very friendly – and sometimes competitive – atmosphere.

“And this year we’re not stopping at just those locations already underway. We have had interest from Scout Groups and individuals that want to do their bit, and are looking into a clean-up in their local area - it's not all about mountains. So, if anyone has a favourite spot they would like to help out with organising their own litter pick, contact me, and I'll tell you how it all works.

“It's very simple: a day out with friends and or family, collect the rubbish, a short Facebook post with photos, who was there, and what was collected, and it'll be shared on the Real3Peaks Challenge page. Maybe we can turn this into a National Awareness Day.”

The event covering Ben Macdui, which is being organised by Mountaineering Scotland Communications Officer Neil Reid, will take place on Saturday 6th October, a week earlier than the other events.


Anyone wanting to get involved in this year’s event can contact the group through their Facebook page at @Real3Peaks or by emailing real3peaks.bennevis@gmail.com 

Collecting litter from Lochnagar.