During the spring and summer of 2018 the National Trust West Lakes Ranger team and Volunteers will be working on Scafell Pike as part of the great gift project.
The land above the 2000ft contour was presented to the National Trust by Lord Leconfield, “in perpetual memory of the men of the Lake District who fell for God and King, for freedom peace and right in the Great War 1914 – 1918.”
The Summit Cairn:
Why does it need re-building?
An estimated 250,000 people visit the summit of Scafell Pike annually, in recent years there have been a number of ‘rushes’ i.e. collapses where the retaining side walls have collapsed. These have been fixed by the Ranger team, but there is a need for some more substantial through stones in the structure in order to make it more stable to support the amount of visitors climbing it each year.
We will also be repairing erosion on the footpaths that were part of the great gift.
The reason for the erosion repair is the sheer volume of people spreading out across the boulder fields on the steep approaches to the summit. This has resulted in scarring some 10m wide in places which has, in turn, damaged the extremely valuable montane vegetation. Species affected include the nationally rare wooly hair moss along with dwarf willow and other remnant arctic plants.
The team will work mostly with local materials with the aim of narrowing the paths down and defining them across the scar. This will hopefully provide a more sustainable route (although not maintenance free) and allow the path edges to slowly re-vegetate. The photo shows a finished example of repair using these techniques on Broad Crag.
The team is planning to spend approximately 200 days working on both the cairn re-build and the erosion repair. So if you’re passing give us a wave (or a biscuit!)
For the first time in 113 years Ben Nevis has a weather station. The station is part of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science’s (NCAS) “Operation Weather Rescue”. This recent citizen science project aimed to digitise all the raw weather observations from the observatory which once stood on the summit of Ben Nevis. Between the 1883-1904 weather data was collected every hour of every day resulting in endless spread sheets of figures.
In the summer of 1881, Clement Lindley Wragge climbed the mountain daily to make initial observations, leading to the opening on 17 October 1883 of a permanent observatory. The building was manned full-time until 1904, when it was closed due to inadequate government funding. The twenty years of readings still provide the most comprehensive set of data on mountain weather in Great Britain.
The Ben Nevis weather observatory.
With the present day weather station it will be possible to compare the data from over 100 years ago. The old information is still useful because it can shed light on past storms in the Scottish Highlands as well as providing ongoing insights into how weather systems evolve as they pass over Scotland’s largest mountains.
It is planned that the weather station will be removed in December and the results will be presented in the UKCP18 report which will detail projections of how the UK climate could change. Although temporary, NCAS hope to secure long term funding to place a permanent weather station on the summit of Ben Nevis.
The temporary weather station currently on Ben Nevis.
Would you like to see a permanent weather station on Ben Nevis? Comment with your views below.
On a very wet and windy Saturday a team of 109 volunteers took on the real 3 peaks challenge. Not to be confused with the national three peaks challenge, this particular challenge is intended to clean up the litter left by the hundreds of thousands of walkers who visit the UK’s most popular mountains. Started in 2013 by mountain guide Richard Pyne after he was appalled by the litter on Ben Nevis, the challenge takes place every year after the peak walking season is over. The growth and support of the challenge is reflected in the dedicated volunteers who give up their time to help. In the past, the challenge has usually just taken place on Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden but this year many other popular mountains were included such as Ben Lomond and Man Tor.
This year on Ben Nevis, 14 volunteers set off from the visitor centre at 8am and headed up the freezing cold and blustery footpath. The weather was grim but spirits were high! Having reached the summit the group spent some time clearing the immediate area around the summit shelter and the shelter itself, by this point everyone’s first bin bag was already full. Later we walked across the plateau in a line trying our best to pick up as much litter as possible. The usual suspects were being found, tissues galore, banana peel, orange peel, bottle tops, tampons and panty liners, sweet wrappers, foil, crisp and sandwich wrappers, plaques, flags, bits of walking poles, and some very old tin can drinks. Most shocking was the discovery of a peanut packet with the best before date of Jan 1987! The rest of the day was spent descending the mountain and picking as much litter along the way as possible. The area around the Red Burn and John’s wall received a lot of attention!
In total, around 120kgs of litter was taken off Ben Nevis this year, thankfully less than previous years. This is largely due to increased litter picks throughout the summer months by the John Muir Trust and the public becoming more aware of the litter issue.
Across the entire challenge over half a tonne of litter was removed. Here are the results for each mountain,
Ben Nevis – 120kgs from 14 volunteers
Scafell Pike- 55kgs from 34 volunteers
Snowdon – 280kgs from 29 volunteers
Lochnagar – 13.4kgs from 3 volunteers
Ben MacDui – 7kgs from 4 volunteers
Ben Lomond – 16kgs from 8 volunteers
Mam Tor & Dovestone – 77.5kgs from 17 volunteers
570 kg s from 109 Volunteers!
The John Muir Trust would like to thank everyone involved and we hope that one day this challenge will no long be necessary.
Promoting mountain safety, protecting the landscape, and enhancing the outdoors experience in mountaineering challenge events.
You are being invited to take part in a study on your perceptions and experiences of the 3 Peaks Challenge. This study is being conducted by Dr Antonia Ivaldi and Professor Mark Whitehead from Aberystwyth University, in collaboration with the Snowdonia National Park Authority. Before you decide, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully and ask me if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Thank you for reading this.
What is the purpose of the project?
This pilot qualitative study aims to examine a range of perspectives, knowledge, experiences, and values aligned to the 3 Peaks for walkers and stakeholders alike. Outdoors challenge events, such as 3 Peaks, produce a complex interplay of promoting knowledge of mountain safety practices, good decision making and planning, and awareness of how to protect the landscape, whilst increasing tourism to the national parks that can result in a lasting engagement with the outdoors, that has additional recognized benefits for health and wellbeing. This is important, given the research that documents the value of outdoors engagement on an individual’s health, well-being and enjoyment. With the overall aim of gaining additional empirical support to complement existing guidelines and advice, this study aims to explore walkers’ and stakeholders’ perceptions and experiences of the event, in particular, walkers’ reasons for engagement, decision making strategies, and overall experience for enjoyment, health and wellbeing.
Do I have to take part?
You have been asked to take part as you are a walker who has taken part in the 3 Peaks in the last year. Taking part in this research is entirely voluntary, and if you do not wish to take part please say so. If you decide to take part you will be given this information sheet to keep (and be asked to sign a consent form). If you later change your mind and no longer wish to take part, you can withdraw from the study at any time, and without penalty, until January 16th 2018, after which the data will written up for dissemination. As a small gesture of gratitude for your participation, the project team would like to offer you a £10 e-voucher for Cotswold Outdoor.
What will happen to me if I take part?
You will be asked to take part in one individual interview lasting approximately 45 mins. This will take place at a time that is convenient to you and via Skype. You will be asked questions on what are your perceptions and experiences of the 3 Peaks Challenge as a walker, why you wanted to take part, your decision making and preparation strategies, and its role for enjoyment, health and well-being, for example. If there is a question that you do not wish to answer, you are not obliged to do so and you are free to move onto the next question. Please note that, as the research is being conducted by a non-Welsh speaker, the interviews and further correspondence will take place in English.
What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?
There are no foreseeable risks associated with this study and it is hoped that you enjoy taking part. In the unlikely event that you find the interview emotive, or it raises health issues associated with walking, and you wish to talk through some of the issues raised with a trained adviser, you will be referred to the helpline SupportLine 01708 765200, or your GP, as appropriate.
Will my taking part in this project be kept confidential?
Only the research team (Dr Antonia Ivaldi, Professor Mark Whitehead, and an external transcription company who will sign a confidentially agreement) will have access to the data. All personal information relating to you (e.g., contact details) will be kept confidential and your consent form, which contains your name and signature, will be stored securely in a locked filing cabinet in the lead researcher’s office. Your interview will be fully anonymized so that there is nothing in the interview that gives away your identity. Extracts of the interviews may be used in the reporting of the results and in future publications, but these will also be fully anonymized. The audio file of the interviews and subsequent transcript will be stored securely on a password protected computer.
What happens immediately after data collection?
You will have the opportunity to ask further questions regarding the study should you wish to do so.
Who has reviewed the project?
This project has been reviewed by the Department of Psychology’s Research Ethics Committee, Aberystwyth University. The research will be conducted in accordance with the British Psychological Society’s Ethical Code of Conduct.
Hyrwyddo diogelwch mynydd, diogelu’r dirwedd, a gwella’r profiad awyr agored mewn heriau mynydda.
Fe’ch gwahoddir i gymryd rhan mewn astudiaeth ar eich canfyddiadau a’ch profiadau o Her y 3 Copa. Cynhelir yr astudiaeth hon gan Dr Antonia Ivaldi a’r Athro Mark Whitehead o Brifysgol Aberystwyth, mewn cydweithrediad ag Awdurdod Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri. Cyn i chi benderfynu, mae’n bwysig eich bod chi’n deall pam mae’r ymchwil yn cael ei gynnal, a beth yn union y bydd angen i chi ei wneud. Cymerwch amser i ddarllen y wybodaeth ganlynol yn ofalus os gwelwch yn dda, a gofynnwch i mi os oes unrhyw beth yn aneglur neu os hoffech gael rhagor o wybodaeth. Diolch i chi am ddarllen hyn.
Beth yw diben y prosiect?
Nod yr astudiaeth ansoddol beilot hon yw archwilio amrywiaeth o safbwyntiau, gwybodaeth, profiadau, a gwerthoedd yn ymwneud â Her y 3 Copa o safbwynt cerddwyr yn ogystal â rhanddeiliaid. Mae heriau awyr agored megis Her y 3 Copa yn gyfle i hyrwyddo arferion diogelwch mynydd, penderfyniadau da a sgiliau cynllunio, a chodi ymwybyddiaeth ynghylch ffyrdd o ddiogelu’r dirwedd. Ar ben hynny maent yn ffordd o annog twristiaid i ymweld â’r parciau cenedlaethol, gan o bosib ennyn diddordeb mewn mwy o weithgareddau awyr agored, sydd â manteision cydnabyddedig ychwanegol ar gyfer iechyd a lles. Mae hyn yn bwysig, o ystyried bod ymchwil yn dangos mor werthfawr yw gweithgareddau awyr agored o safbwynt iechyd, lles a mwynhad yr unigolyn. Gyda’r nod cyffredinol o gasglu rhagor o dystiolaeth empirig i ategu’r canllawiau a’r cyngor sydd eisoes ar gael, bydd yr astudiaeth hon yn edrych ar brofiadau a chanfyddiadau cerddwyr a rhanddeiliaid am y digwyddiad, yn enwedig rhesymau cerddwyr dros gymryd rhan, eu strategaethau wrth wneud penderfyniadau, a’u profiad cyffredinol o ran mwynhad, iechyd a lles.
A oes rhaid i mi gymryd rhan?
Gofynnir i chi gymryd rhan gan eich bod yn gerddwr sydd wedi cymryd rhan yn Her y 3 Copa yn ystod y flwyddyn ddiwethaf. Mae cymryd rhan yn yr astudiaeth hon yn gwbl wirfoddol, ac os nad ydych am gymryd rhan dywedwch hynny os gwelwch yn dda. Os byddwch yn penderfynu cymryd rhan, rhoddir y daflen wybodaeth hon i chi i’w chadw (a gofynnir i chi lofnodi ffurflen gydsynio). Os byddwch yn newid eich meddwl yn ddiweddarach, gallwch dynnu’n ôl o’r astudiaeth ar unrhyw adeg, a heb gosb, hyd at 16/01/2018. Ar ôl y dyddiad hwn bydd y data yn cael ei ysgrifennu er mwyn ei ddosbarthu. Fel arwydd bach o’n diolchgarwch i chi am gymryd rhan, hoffai tîm y prosiect gynnig e-daleb Cotswold Outdoor gwerth £10 i chi.
Beth fydd yn digwydd i mi os byddaf yn cymryd rhan?
Gofynnir i chi gymryd rhan mewn un cyfweliad unigol a fydd yn para tua 45 munud. Bydd hyn yn digwydd ar amser sy’n gyfleus i chi, trwy Skype. Cewch eich holi am eich canfyddiadau a’ch profiadau o Her y 3 Copa fel cerddwr, pam roeddech am gymryd rhan, eich strategaethau ar gyfer gwneud penderfyniadau a pharatoi, a’i rôl o safbwynt mwynhad, iechyd a lles, er enghraifft. Os na fyddwch am ateb unrhyw gwestiwn penodol, ni fydd rhaid i chi wneud hynny, a bydd croeso i chi symud ymlaen i’r cwestiwn nesaf. Sylwch, gan fod yr ymchwil yn cael ei gynnal gan ymchwilydd diGymraeg, bydd y cyfweliadau ac unrhyw ohebiaeth bellach yn digwydd trwy gyfrwng y Saesneg.
Beth yw’r anfanteision a’r risgiau posibl a allai godi wrth gymryd rhan?
Ni ragwelir bod unrhyw risgiau yn gysylltiedig â’r astudiaeth hon ac rydym yn gobeithio y byddwch yn mwynhau cymryd rhan. Er nad yw’n debygol o ddigwydd, os byddwch yn teimlo bod y cyfweliad yn emosiynol, neu os yw’n codi materion iechyd sy’n gysylltiedig â cherdded, a’ch bod yn dymuno trafod rhai o’r materion sy’n codi gydag ymgynghorydd hyfforddedig, cewch eich cyfeirio at y llinell gymorth SupportLine 01708 765200, neu eich Meddyg Teulu, fel bo’n briodol.
A fydd fy nghyfranogiad yn y prosiect hwn yn cael ei gadw’n gyfrinachol?
Dim ond y tîm ymchwil (Dr Antonia Ivaldi, yr Athro Mark Whitehead, a chwmni trawsgrifio allanol a fydd yn llofnodi cytundeb cyfrinachedd) fydd yn gweld y data. Bydd unrhyw wybodaeth bersonol amdanoch chi (e.e., manylion cyswllt) yn cael ei chadw’n gyfrinachol a bydd eich ffurflen gydsynio, sy’n cynnwys eich enw a’ch llofnod, yn cael ei storio’n ddiogel mewn cabinet ffeilio dan glo yn swyddfa’r prif ymchwilydd. Bydd eich cyfweliad yn gwbl ddienw i sicrhau nad oes unrhyw beth yn y cyfweliad sy’n datgelu pwy ydych chi. Mae’n bosib y bydd darnau o’r cyfweliadau yn cael eu defnyddio wrth lunio adroddiadau ar y canlyniadau ac mewn cyhoeddiadau yn y dyfodol, ond bydd y rhain hefyd yn gwbl ddienw. Bydd ffeil sain y cyfweliadau a’r trawsgrifiad yn cael eu storio’n ddiogel ar gyfrifiadur a ddiogelir gan gyfrinair.
Beth fydd yn digwydd yn syth ar ôl i’r data gael ei gasglu?
Bydd gennych gyfle i ofyn cwestiynau pellach ynglŷn â’r astudiaeth os byddwch yn dymuno gwneud hynny.
Pwy sydd wedi adolygu’r prosiect?
Adolygwyd y prosiect hwn gan Bwyllgor Moeseg Ymchwil yr Adran Seicoleg, Prifysgol Aberystwyth. Cynhelir yr ymchwil yn unol â Chod Ymddygiad Moesegol Cymdeithas Seicolegol Prydain.
Our Volunteer Warden team have been very busy for months now providing information to the public as well as collecting hundreds of litter bags from litter that’s been left on the paths. On Sunday we had quite a different day as we ventured to quieter parts of Yr Wyddfa to learn more about the geology of the area with expert Paul Gannon. A very interesting day that everyone enjoyed!
Mae’n Wardeiniaid Gwirfoddol wedi bod yn brysur ers misoedd bellach yn cynghori cerddwyr at yr hyn y bydd angen wrth gerdded yn ogystal â chodi canoedd o fagiau o sbwriel y mae pobl yn gadael ar y mynydd. Dydd Sul cafwyd diwrnod go wahanol wrth i rai fentro i fannau distawach Yr Wyddfa i ddysgu mwy am ddaeareg gyda’r arbenigwr Paul Gannon. Diwrnod diddorol iawn gyda phawb wedi mwynhau!
We’re very fortunate to have the help of many volunteers on Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) that help with a variety of tasks.
With the number of walkers reduced significantly in recent weeks it’s vital to do as much repair and maintenance work as possible on the footpaths. A group of Tesco workers volunteered to help open up drains and ditches on the PyG track as well as work in our Wildlife Garden in Beddgelert. The following day we had Snowdonia Society volunteers help us do the same work on the Llanberis path.
We’re very grateful of their help as it’s vitally important work to do before the heavy rain and winter storms start!
Rydym yn ffodus iawn o gael help nifer o wirfoddolwyr i’n helpu gydag amryw o dasgau ar Yr Wyddfa.
Gyda phrysurdeb ymwelwyr yn dechrau distewi erbyn hyn mae yn bwysig gwneud gwaith cynnal a chadw ar y llwybrau. Bu criw o weithwyr Tesco yn gwirfoddoli hefo ni yn agor draeniau a ffosydd ar ochr llwybr y PyG yn ogystal â chriw arall yn gwneud gwaith yng ngardd Gwyllt Beddgelert. Yn ogystal bu criw o Gymdeithas Eryri’n helpu’n gwneud yr un gwaith ar lwybr Llanberis y diwrnod wedyn.
Rydym yn ddiolchgar iawn o’u gwaith fydd yn siŵr o helpu cyn i law trwm a stormydd y gaeaf ddod!
Standing looking up from the CIC hunt situated below the north face of Ben Nevis with its eternal snow patches and towering alpine cliffs it is hard to believe that anything would call this deadly environment their home. To most this mountain may seem alien and uninhabitable but believe it or not Ben Nevis is bursting with life! For those daring enough to venture, the north face can offer some very unique biodiversity which is rarely seen elsewhere in the UK.
The North Face of Ben Nevis from the CIC hut.
Over the last three summers the “North Face Survey” project run by The Nevis Landscape Partnership and Scottish Natural Heritage aimed to study this rare biodiversity. Bringing botanists, geologists and mountain guides together, the survey managed to access areas of the mountain never before explored by the trained eye of experts. It goes without saying the project was a huge success with many rare alpine species identified throughout the ragged cliffs and surprisingly green gullies.
Sadly this summer there was no survey and with a year gone by since the project finished, myself and Nevis property managed, Alison, decided it was important to revisit some of the sights to check on the progress of these secluded plant communities.
It was one of those rare Scottish summer days, with a warm light breeze and sunshine. From the car park we approached the CIC Hunt – An alpine hut situated within the corrie below the North Face of Ben Nevis. Here we had a bite to eat and pondered our route. We decided to venture onto Ledge Route, a simple but still very adventurous day on the mountain.
Setting off from the CIC hut we picked our way through the small rock bands and scree slopes searching for plant life along the way. Parsley Fern and Mountain Thyme were resilient within this ever mobile area of mountain side.
Having reached the grassy bank of Ledge route we were starting to find many of the more rarely sighted alpine species. Within No. 5 Gully Starry saxifrage and Alpine Speedwell were making an appearance. Hare’s-foot Sedge, a species that is at home in Svalbard, also was found. Moving our way onto the scramble section we were finding Starwort and Arctic Mouse-ear, both of which seemed comfortable considering the location they inhabit.
Alison scouting the plant line in No.5 Gully
Although the day was warm and sunny, having experienced Ben Nevis during periods of intense winter conditions and remembering how cold it can be, I found it hard to believe that these little, seemingly delicate, wildflowers call this environment their home.
After the short scramble we topped out onto Carn Dearg – A north eastern peak the Ben Nevis. From here we hand railed the cliff edge where we came across a friend and local mountain guide, Mike Pescod. Mike was part of the team during the North Face Survey and has developed a keen eye for rare alpine species. He reported to us that during his day with clients he stumbled across Highland and Alpine Saxifrage around No.4 Gully, both of which are very scarce!
Mike Pescod with his clients making their way down Ledge Route
Having topped out, we ended our day by joining our route up with the main mountain path and litter picked our way down the mountain. With Ben Nevis usually shrouded in cloud and pelting rain, our day in the sun was a perfect remind why we do this type of work for a living.