Envirotrek 2013

17th Jun 2013

Last Sunday Peak Mountaineering hosted the Peak District’s second Envirotrek event.  Envirotrek is an environmental event supported by Keen footwear and managed by the Dutch charity Respect the Mountains.  Participants spend the morning collecting litter from sites around the Peak District National Park then, after lunch, they have the chance to try a selection of outdoor activities for the afternoon.  For this year we based the event in Castleton village…..
After a Saturday of persistent rain we awoke up at 7am on Sunday morning to more rain!  Fortunately, the Mountain Weather Information Service, which forecast drier weather from 8am, was spot on.  As we prepared the venue the sun started to poke through and the temperature climbed steadily.
By 9am participants had started to arrive and soon we had 45 participants ready to devote time to keeping the UK’s busiest national park clean.  It was a busy morning with almost 100kgs of rubbish removed from the Burbage Valley Plantation, Cavedale and Tideswell Dale.  We found a fair amount of glass, old barbeques, food wrappers and a host of other junk.  We even found some old tents!  The teams were accompanied on the litter collection by some of the Peak Park rangers and we also had considerable support from the Peak Park Conservation Volunteer team.
After a busy morning the groups returned to Castleton Village Hall for a delicious lunch prepared by locals Jon and Emma before splitting up again to try a selection of outdoor activities. One group went caving in Giants Hole, some undertook a walk along the Mam Tor ridge with volunteer ranger Heather, a group tried the high and low ropes courses at the Hollowford centre while a final large group tried their hand at climbing on Burbage Edge.  
The afternoon whizzed by and all too soon we were wrapping up the event back at the hall.  Feedback from the participants we have spoken to so far has been fantastic.  There was a real feel good factor about helping to tidy up the park and, at the same time, enjoying some of the great opportunities it offers.  Many of this year’s participants had also helped last year so, as well and all the new helpers and families that joined us, the event also had the feel of a reunion about it. 
Of course an event like this needs a lot of support and we were so grateful to get such amazing help.  Thanks to villagers Jon and Emma for the amazing food and to Charlie and Stuart for being such a help in so many ways (including Charlie dashing around marketing the event).  Thanks to the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers and Peak District National Park Ranger Service.  Our sincere thanks to the Castleton Village Hall Committee for providing such a great base and to the Hollowford Centre for helping with transport and allowing us to use their ropes courses.  A massive thanks to instructors Dave, Phil, Anne, Kev and Richard and who gave up their time to run the sessions (during a very busy part of their working season) and finally, the biggest thanks must go to the amazing participants who gave up their time to join us, to help clean up this beautiful area, to try some new challenges and to have a lot of fun along the way.
We are already planning another environmental clean-up for 2014……..and we really hope you’ll join us. 
Posted by Paul