Scottish Mountains given a spring clean

3 September 2009

The last weekend of May saw more than 150 people take part in the Ski Club of Great Britain’s Big Spring Clean event, a mountain clean-up day held at Nevis Range and Cairngorm which involved removing dozens of bags of rubbish from the hillside.

Volunteers from as far flung as Australia helped take part, some of whom had returned for a second year running. Rubbish collected included hundreds of cigarette butts, a ski boot, a plastic sledge, broken ski poles, plastic bottles, cans, a bin lid and someone even found a Marathon chocolate bar wrapper dating from 1990, before the snack was rebranded as Snickers. Nearly 60 bags of rubbish were collected in total.

Lizzie Crookenden from the Ski Club who was running the event at Cairngorm, said of the day: “In general the resort was cleaner than you may expect but all the same we picked up a good amount of rubbish. It is hard to imagine how long some of the items take to break down, even something like a banana skin can take over a year to bio-degrade. The day was undoubtedly a success with over 60 people volunteering to help clear up our mountains on what was a fantastic sunny day.”

Heather Negus, Marketing Manager of Nevis Range explained about the problems of litter in the Scottish resort: “One of the biggest issues we have at Nevis Range is people leaving their litter behind and not taking it home. Particularly in the winter people drop their litter and then it snows and nobody can see what has been dropped. Projects like this with the Ski Club of Great Britain coming to the resort, raising awareness about the litter on the hill, and actually getting our visitors to gather the rubbish and take it away are brilliant.”

The event was organised to highlight the amount of rubbish being left on the mountains every year and to get people involved and ‘do their bit’. This was the second Big Spring Clean after a successful inaugural event in 2008, and is part of the Ski Club’s Respect the Mountain campaign, an environmental initiative aimed at raising awareness about the mountains and the impact humans have on them and the environment.

To see all the photos from the Big Spring Clean visit the Ski Club of Great Britain’s website, and to learn more about the Respect the Mountain campaign go to

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