Volunteers tackle post-lockdown rubbish clean-ups on Ben Nevis

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Piles of rubbish weighing more than 50kg have been cleared off the slopes of Ben Nevis by work parties following last month’s reopening of the tourism and hospitality sectors.

The John Muir Trust (JMT), which owns the summit of the UK’s highest peak, has had volunteer work parties out on the mountain on various dates, together with those from the Nevis Landscape Partnership (NLP).

‘In the space of a few short weeks we are seeing the number of visitors on Ben Nevis return to post lockdown levels,’ said Nathan Berrie, JMT Nevis Conservation Officer.

‘While it is lovely to see so many faces enjoying the outdoors this increase has created several challenges, litter is a particular issue.

‘However, we are extremely fortunate to have a community of local volunteers that are willing to give up their time to slog up Ben Nevis.

‘For the time being, our volunteer work parties will be carefully managed to keep staff, volunteers and the public safe. This means we are limited with volunteer numbers and what we can do. However, if restrictions continue to ease we will hopefully be in a position to create more exciting opportunities.

‘Over the coming months we have several other Ben Nevis volunteer work parties planned. Unfortunately these are already fully booked due to limitations on numbers but if anyone wishes to help keep Ben Nevis beautiful by hosting their own litter pick please get in touch by contacting either the John Muir Trust or Nevis Landscape Partnership.

‘We will be more than happy to provide equipment. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank many members of the public who have spent their time clearing litter throughout Glen Nevis. This does not go unnoticed and we appreciate it hugely.’

And Rory Stewart, Volunteer Coordinator for the Friends of Nevis (FoN) and Nevis Landscape Partnership, told us: ‘At the start of lockdown, in late March, Friends of Nevis volunteer activities were halted and have remained so until now.

‘In recent weeks, however, following a return to outdoor work, Nevis Landscape Partnership, in collaboration with Sarah McNeill and Nathan Berrie of the local John Muir Trust team, have been trialing work parties with small groups of locally based volunteers.

‘These have proved very successful and providing safeguards are followed, offer a template for Friends of Nevis to run a series of monthly volunteer work parties this autumn.’

The dates for events are on both the NLP and FoN websites, along with a fuller description of current sign up procedures.

In addition to the events above there is also the Friends of Nevis AGM (Friday, October 30) and the Autumn Litter Pick  (Sunday, November 22).

How these events are run will be determined by the Scottish Government’s advice at the time.

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