This section provides additional guidance for the Three Peaks Challenge. The Three Peaks Challenge has become increasingly popular as a fundraising event. Teams are challenged to climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales. This is putting increasing pressure on the same localities throughout the summer months, with considerable negative impact on the environment, local residents, rescue services and amenities.
The national parks/local authorities and landowners are responding to the impact of this event by discouraging further growth and beginning to operate a stronger management regime for it.
- Register all groups of 12 or more with the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre, the central registration point for all of the peaks at least 12 months in advance (unless a shorter timeframe is agreed) and follow its guidance
- Limit the number of walkers to no more than 200 per event, as suggested by landowners
- Avoid the peak holiday times e.g. bank holidays, summer solstice.
- Events should not cause overcrowding on the mountains and the respective valleys’ (base sites’) infrastructure
- Be aware toilet provisions are very limited; plan accordingly when obtaining local permissions
- Strongly discourage racing between teams on and between mountains
- Agree designated rest stops and driving times beforehand that respect speed limits, road safety and other road users
- Include a policy to remove the time pressure element, categorically excluding the driving time between mountains as part of the challenge by allocating a minimum driving time of 10hours for all participants which is added to the walking time, regardless of the actual duration of the drive. By adding a set minimum driving time, the competitive element is removed from the journey between peaks
- Provide information to participants on the environmental and land management sensitivities of the areas they will be visiting and give participants guidance on how to mitigate their impact as far as is possible
Individual mountain and site-specific codes of conduct should be followed.
It is important for organisers to consider the timing of the event for the least disturbance. In settlement areas, arrival or departure should not be between the hours of 11pm and 6am.
As coaches block narrow roads, it is wise to avoid their use.
Local facilities are inadequate for large events. It is good practice for organisers to identify and use motorway services and other facilities en-route especially to top-up water supplies and use the toilets.
Always use the Visitor Centre at Glen Nevis as the start point for Ben Nevis. If using Pen-y-Pass (Snowdon), parking is usually difficult and waiting not possible so disembark only. Use local bus services when you can.
Consider the long-term sustainability of these events in the area and how carbon footprints may be reduced. It is critical that your event has a minimal adverse impact on the mountains, the local communities, enjoyment of other visitors and all contacts for booking the events in the relevant sites.
Outdoor fundraising events can give rise to considerable liability. It is good practice for fundraising organisations to consider appropriate means of managing these risks. These means will generally involve a combination of:
- Good planning
- Engaging specialist event planners/organisers to run events
- Using subsidiary companies
- Getting appropriate permission
Events on access land
Events taking place in England Wales may rely on the use of land mapped as open access land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. The right conferred on the public is for use on foot for open air recreation, but the right is subject to a number of general restrictions set out under Schedule 2 of the Act. This states that the right does not extend to anyone who:
- Engages in any organised games, or camping, hand-gliding or para-gliding
- Engages in any activity which is organised or undertaken (whether by him or another) for any commercial purpose
As yet, there is no legal precedent which helps determine whether an organised charity event is affected by these restrictions. If in any doubt, organisers ought to seek permission from landowner