A new registration system has been set up for charity events on the UK’s highest mountain, in a bid to make sure those climbing it are doing so “responsibly and sustainably”.
It is hoped the change will make it easer for organisers of charity challenges to get the necessary permissions to access Ben Nevis – as well as helping the land managers better deal with the environmental impact on the mountain.
The system will see a live calendar of events published, in a bid to avoid car parks in the area and paths on the mountain becoming overcrowded.
Meanwhile, event organisers will be given a single point of contact, rather than having to contact multiple landowners to gain the necessary permissions.
The new scheme – which it is hoped will raise money to help fund the maintenance of the mountain – is being run by the Nevis Landscape Partnership (NLP), together with the John Muir Trust and Jahama Highland Estate – the primary landowners of Ben Nevis – along with NatureScot, local volunteering charities and hill walking groups.
Mike Pescod, a mountain guide who is also chair of the NLP, said that Ben Nevis attracts “upwards of 150,000 visitors a year”.
He added: “The cumulative effect of these visitors is massive on the mountain and the task of maintaining it is growing.
“This scheme will make sure that event organisers are setting a good example, making it easier for us to ensure that people are accessing The Ben responsibly and sustainably.”
Jonathan Hart of Jahama Highland Estate, which owns the lower slopes of Ben Nevis, said: “This is an important project in enabling the land managers to better identify and manage issues and work with event organisers in promoting responsible and sustainable access onto Scotland’s most beloved mountain.
“It ensures that those accessing, recreating and enjoying the mountain are involved in looking after it and taking access responsibly.”