Race on to resolve Three Peaks parking challenge

Upland Ranger Barry Grant prepares for a day maintaining Scafell Pike  © National Trust

Upland Ranger Barry Grant prepares for a day maintaining Scafell Pike

Latest update 01.05.2014 09:04

Every year, more than 30,000 people take part in the Three Peaks challenge with many choosing to climb Scafell Pike from the unspoiled Wasdale valley in western Cumbria.

Helping a remote community cope with the equivalent of welcoming 1000-times their own tiny population has been the focus of the Wasdale Visitor Management Partnership’s new Three Peaks guidelines, which focus on encouraging those taking part in a Three Peaks challenge to park safely and climb the peak responsibly.

Planning ahead is the key for organisers and participants, says Sarah Medcalf, Visitor Management Officer: She says: ‘The Three Peaks is a high-profile challenge, both for those taking part and for the people who live and work in this spectacular natural environment. We want everyone to enjoy the experience, so we’re asking organisers and participants to think ahead about parking, toilets and using a route that doesn’t add to the erosion on the Pike.

‘We’ve worked with local residents, the Lake District National Park and colleagues from Ben Nevis and Snowdon to help keep the Three Peaks as a unique experience, but also one that locals don’t dread.’

Changes for 2014

To help manage the impacts that the Three Peaks challenge have on both the community and the natural environment, 2014 will introduce:
• Dedicated minibus bays in Lake Head car park to prevent informal parking on the single track road
• 24-hour parking at Lake Head, away from the village green
• Temporary toilets and catering for participants
• Scafell Pike route information
• National Trust staff available to talk directly to organisers and participants before, during and after the Three Peaks ‘season’

In the past, local residents have suffered from the irresponsible behaviour of some participants, including:
• Parking in people’s drives or lanes, and blocking them in from going to work, or worse, looking after their families or livestock
• Knocking on people’s doors and waking them up in the middle of the night to ask for directions to Scafell Pike
• Using the village green as a toilet
• Being noisy neighbours when arriving at night
• Leaving litter behind

By working with organisers, participants and the local community, the visitor management partnership’s aim is that the new Three Peaks Guidelines will help to make this year’s season a success for everyone.