The membership of the British Mountaineering Council (BMC; www.thebmc.co.uk) is made up of approximately 75,000 climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers. The majority of the members participate in hill walking and about 20% of them are purely hill walkers who don’t go climbing. The name may not make it obvious that the BMC works hard for hill walkers.
Its work for hill walkers includes:
• Campaigning for access and conservation
• Publishing good practice advice and organising training events
• Lobbying government on issues and legislation
• Working with partners locally and nationally, such as the Mountain Safety Forum, National Parks, land managers, conservation organisations and other representative bodies.
• Funding projects to protect the mountain environment
• Providing specialist insurance cover
• Negotiating member discounts with outdoor shops and service providers
The British hills offer beauty, challenge and adventure, as well as the opportunity to keep fit and healthy. So it’s no wonder that hill walking is such a popular activity, attracting people of all ages. Walking in the uplands requires a collection of skills, including navigation and hazard avoidance. It is important that participants are prepared with some basic equipment and knowledge in order to enjoy hill walking safely.